What am I doing about this IT Band?

J over at Lessons Learned While Running asked this question. I thought it was fair enough to offer up what I've been telling myself is the right thing to do:

-Rest: I haven't run since 12/26. I've only done upper body weights and the bike since then.
-Ice: putting an ice pack on the afflicted knee about twice a day since 12/30.
-Stretch: I've been trying this stretch, but find it really difficult to pinpoint that area while doing this.
-Changed surface: did a run entirely on grass/dirt, no change in pain. Treadmill and street runs hurt the same.
-Changed shoes: no help

As far as my history, the first time I got this pain was one week after MY FIRST MARATHON EVER. I did a cardio class that was entirely on a trampoline. I blamed the pain on the new exercise. Then there was Footgate with the tiny piece of glass getting lodged in my foot--so I didn't do any running for about two weeks. I was running normal for a few weeks there until one 10-mile run that I just couldn't get past mile three because of the pain. That flopped 10-mile run was on 12/15. Ever since then I can't get past three miles.

Any kernels of wisdom peoples?


Nikki said...

I'm seeing a physio about my IT band problems on Friday...I'll let you know if I get any good advice!

Nikki said...

Ooh, this link is good too. I have been trying to do the pelvic drop exercise towards the bottom of the page, but not sure if I am doing it right...as you said, it's very hard with the ITB to feel if anything's working properly!


sRod said...

Thanks Nikki!

Nikki said...

Here's the advice I got...
1) Ice the knee each day
2) Keep running, but use a hot water bottle on the knee for about 5 minutes before I go out
3) Do a stretch on the knee 3 times a day. The first stretch was the easy one where you put one foot behind the other, arm up in the air and lean over to the side. Sure you know it! The second was harder, you have to lie on the edge of a bed on your good side with good knee bent up, bad leg up and straight in line with bed, pelvis level, and your bad leg goes back as far as it can and then stays straight as it drops down...it's very difficult to do, never mind descibe! I'm having to rope my husband in to help me with it!
She wanted me to go in again to have more ultrasound, but as I can't afford it she said ice would do the job to reduce inflammation.

J said...

Okay. Nikk's advice might be good. But this is the deal.

Do not run. Do not bike. ITBS is a big time issue for cyclists. It's basically a reptitive motion syndrome like carpal tunnel. Anything that creates rotation of the ball on the socket at the hip and knee will make it worse.

Stretch. Do what Nikki said.
Ice twice a day minimum. TWICE. Diligently.
IBUPROFEN - NOT Tylenol (it does not stop inflammation). The area is INFLAMED. You have to get rid of this inflammation. I am not a doctor but I was told by one that I can take up to 4 Advils 4 times a day as long as you stomach and withstand it. This is equivalent to a prescription dose.

Massage. Lay on your side. Take some sort of massage cream, put it on your leg up and down from the knee to the hip, use your knuckles and go up and down hard. The leg will be bent at the hip. Maybe at the knee. Be comfortable.

Do this every single day. Also, stretch the hamstrings and the outer quads. These muscles insert into the ITB.

Get a simple anatomy book. It's handy for everything that ails you. There is a series called the Anatomy Coloring book showing a lot of muscles. Get it and read it.

The Biggest Defense is to understand our anatomy and how the skeleton, cartilage and muscles work together. Lifting your leg in the first part of starting to walk involves you abs, quads, TFL, Spinae erectors, hams, adductors, abductors and a host of other things. You would be simply amazed.

Get this under way for about two weeks and run slow just until pain. Then stop.

BTW, you will be doing this for the rest of your running/cycling life.


J said...

You know... I forgot to mention strength training. You do not have to do a lot. Do squats and lunges. Strength EVERYTHING around the ITB. If you want exercises, let me know...