IT Band Problem

I hesitated to write this post, because sometimes I like the head-in-the-sand approach: if you ignore it, the problem doesn’t exist.  However, I am also a very analytical person, so that approach rarely lasts long, and then I move on with reality.

On my schedule today was a 15k run with a few above-race-pace intervals mixed in.  The first hour went pretty well, and then I noticed some slight soreness along my left hip.  I ran a little more, and then the knee pain showed up.  Sadly, I know what this means: IT band syndrome.  Now that I’ve written that down and faced it, my head is officially out of the sand.

For those of you not familiar, click here to read up.  Unfortunately, though (or maybe fortunately, in this case – I’m not sure yet), I AM familiar with IT band syndrome, having had to stop running for six weeks earlier this year while rehabbing my right IT band and hip muscles.

The sort of good news is that it’s not my right leg, which was originally injured back in the spring.  This time it’s on my left side.  And I also know what I’m going to do to deal with the injury:

  1. Ice it – 4 times per day
  2. Ibuprofen (I’m not saying YOU should do this, though!)
  3. Foam roll both IT bands (don’t want to injure the other side, either!)
  4. Stretch like crazy
  5. Book in to see my physiotherapist ASAP

I wonder if, ironically, recovering from my prior injury contributed to this one.  That is, I was so focused on stretching and foam rolling and icing the right side to prevent re-injury that I forgot to take care of the left side.

While I only got about 10.5k in this morning and am disappointed not to have got my long run am, I am more concerned with injuring myself further, or, even worse, having to stop running and not do the half marathon I’m scheduled to do in 3 weeks.  I think I’ll use the head-in-the-sand approach for this eventuality, at least until I speak to my physiotherapist.

Have you had to deal with IT band syndrome?  What about other injuries?  What’s your favoured approach to dealing?


22 thoughts on “IT Band Problem

  1. Angela (the diet book junkie) says:

    i don’t like to talk about my injuries either, afraid that it will somehow make it worse.(focusing on the negative or something.) but you know what’s funny: after not running for a month i FINALLY mentioned it on my blog (injured quad) and just a few days later i was back to running again! guess it doesn’t help to keep things bottled up either 🙂

    sorry to hear abour your injury. i’ve had IT problems in the past and it sucks!! i’m no expert (at all) but have you tried running in compression pants?


  2. 45before35 says:

    I also don’t talk about illness – it makes it more real and somehow seems to validate that I have it – gives it power in a weird way.

    I am so sorry for your issues with this – it has to be so frustrating after all this training. At least you are aware and realizing it right away.


  3. Laury @TheFitnessDish says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your injury….I am very familiar with IT band syndrome..a few clients have had it and we have successfully treated it with what you described above. The foam roll, especially..and all the other stretches help TREMENDOUSLY!! If you take care of it, as I am sure you will, you will be feeling better in no time…just don’t push doing any activities you shouldn’t be doing…better to rest and heal now!!! Feel better soon!!


  4. couchpotatoathlete says:

    I’ve had IT issues before — but getting refitted for running shoes (at a diff store than I usually get fitted) and religiously foam rolling (plus a week off of running) helped tremendously.

    I hope you get some relief!


  5. Nic says:

    My “favorite” running injury is my low back. It started when I was training for my first 1/2 marathon and hasn’t left me alone since:( I try to combat it with strength exercises and stretching. I *try* to stop training as soon as it feels like it could go from bad to worse, take a few days off. If I catch the flare up early enough, I’m usually feeling good after a few days off and get back to my training. Good luck with your training, you sound like a tough cookie, you’ll make it through!


  6. Kat says:

    I usually try to hit the issue head-on and usually the first part of the remedy involves the classic ibuprofen, rest and stretch-method. It’s good to know that you already have a plan-of-attack (even though it’s super-stressful that your race is coming up!), so just be gentle to yourself!


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