Getting past iliotibial band syndrome?
November 11, 2010 5:56 AM   Subscribe

SportsMedicineFilter: Has anyone successfully overcome Iliotibial Band Syndrome?

About 2 months ago I started running again after maybe 10 years off. I've been active, walking maybe 5 miles a day during that off time.
The first couple of times I went out I ran 4 or 5 kilometers with no problem. The third time, after about 2 km, I got a pain on the outside of my knee that is pretty obviously iliotibial band syndrome.
I followed the advice I could find on various websites, it seems a pretty common problem. I've read through all the posts on the green, also. I did all the stretches I could find and did not run for 6 weeks. Today I tried to run again and bingo, after 1.5km, the same problem.
Has anyone successfully got past this problem? I've done my stretching pretty religiously, and this seems to be the only fix outside of surgery.
If it makes a difference, I'm 6'3" (190cm) and 165lbs (75kg).
posted by conifer to Health & Fitness (18 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Have you tried a foam roller? Or are you just doing regular stretches? A foam roller, or a tennis ball in a sock, make a WORLD of difference as opposed to stretches. I would give this a try, and remember to start slow - jog a few laps on a track, foam roll, foam roll, foam roll, and gradually increase your mileage.
posted by unexpected at 5:59 AM on November 11, 2010

Best answer: Have you been using a hard foam roller to loosen it up? Maybe you need to see a physical therapist to learn what more you could be doing, or how to do it more correctly.
posted by Ery at 6:00 AM on November 11, 2010

I injured mine through trauma (diving, playing ultimate), and eventually it healed. Lots, lots of stretching. All the time, throughout the day.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 6:15 AM on November 11, 2010

I have a problem with the other end of my IT band. My physical therapist also performed ultrasonic therapy which helped quite a bit.

A tennis ball in a sock? I should try that.
posted by mkb at 6:26 AM on November 11, 2010

Nthing foam roller. Swimming on non-running days helps for me, as well.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:28 AM on November 11, 2010

another vote for the foam roller. it's helped me, as has running half the time in Vibram Five Fingers (don't know if they actually contribute to the pain going away, since I started foam rolling and five fingers at the same time).
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 6:39 AM on November 11, 2010

foam roller. sloooowly, an inch at a time until the pain goes from a 10 to a 5 in that particular spot. then repeat.
posted by acidic at 6:47 AM on November 11, 2010

I used to get ITB pain exactly 22 minutes into my run. After a couple of months of stretching and massage I starting using a couple of these. Now I can run until I'm tired (which isn't terribly longer, to my dismay).

Anyway, I highly recommend some kind of compression strap worn above the knee.
posted by Mountain Goatse at 6:52 AM on November 11, 2010

If you can afford it, I highly recommend physical therapy. I had the same problem a few years ago, and after working with a physical therapist for about four months, have been pain-free ever since.
posted by Shoggoth at 7:08 AM on November 11, 2010

At the time I had ITB issues, I had access to the school trainers. They had me doing some fancy stretching, and eventually (not too long) the issues went away. So, yes.
posted by inigo2 at 7:15 AM on November 11, 2010

If the stretching and foam rolling doesn't help, you might want to see a podiatrist. I struggled with ITBS off and on for years until I got orthotics. My feet don't hit the ground correctly which put stress on my knees (and ankles and hips and back and ....), but with orthotics my feet don't pull my knees out of whack and my ITB pain has completely disappeared no matter how much I run.
posted by the_shrike at 7:26 AM on November 11, 2010

I have a problem with the other end of my IT band.

mkb, may I ask where exactly is the "other end"? Curious coz I think my problem might be similar to yours.
posted by randomstriker at 8:27 AM on November 11, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks all. Will try the foam thingy and see if that helps.
posted by conifer at 8:40 AM on November 11, 2010

I'm not a professional, but the trigger points could be in the vastus lateralis muscle (one of the quads) or actually the gluteus minimus in the lower back/buttock. A better tool for massage would be a large wooden craft ball or lacrosse ball. You can put it in a sock for convenience.
posted by Not Supplied at 9:15 AM on November 11, 2010

randomstriker: "I have a problem with the other end of my IT band.

mkb, may I ask where exactly is the "other end"? Curious coz I think my problem might be similar to yours.

Top of the femur.
posted by mkb at 11:07 AM on November 11, 2010

You might also want to try some squats to strengthen other muscles in your thighs. Sometimes you can get an injury like this because you are unconsciously compensating for weakness elsewhere. The mechanics of running are different than the mechanics of walking.
posted by thinkingwoman at 3:17 PM on November 11, 2010

It manifested in me as pain mostly in my hips, and only occasionally in my knees. I did physical therapy and it made a huge difference, but it took a while; I had pretty much given up on it when I really started to see results.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 11:09 PM on November 13, 2010

I have a floating kneecap thing (yuk yuk yuk, basically it's trying to move inwards) and it was due to a too-tight ITB and a weak gluteus median (sp?) so I saw the physio twice for intensive sessions and have sorted it out by doing:
- 10 x one leg squat each side, not letting the knee drift in
- Clamshells (on your side on the floor, feet together, lift up the top knee keeping the hip straight)
- swan yoga position as long and flat as I can
- rolling on the b*stard roller - it's now a 7 rather than a 10 in pain!
- taping with special tape to support the knee when I run

All that and I managed a (slow) half marathon after doing it all once a day for 3.5 weeks.

Good luck!
posted by LyzzyBee at 6:29 AM on November 15, 2010

« Older How do I buy a house without an agent? Should I?   |   How can I print in a different font than the one I... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.