March 29, 2012

ITB issues

When I told my mum I was having IT band issues she asked me what was wrong with my computer... Unfortunately my ITB issues are or the physical kind not electrical. The Iliotibial Band is the ligament that runs down the outside of the thigh from hip to shin and is apparently notorious for causing problems for runners that have been running for a while or running high mileage such as marathon training. I've heard people mention IT band pain on DailyMile and also at the running club but other than that I didn't know much about it. However Sunday's race showed me how painful it can be so I've needed to do some research into what the problem is and how to fix it.
There are a ton of articles on the internet about this because it affects so many people, and the general gist I can understand is that firstly I need to RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation). However that's about where the consistency of the internet ends as when it comes to what needs to be done other than RICE many of the articles begin to contradict each other! One running website states that if you rest an IT Band strain that you'll be fine to just carry on after. Then other sites state that someone could rest for 6 months and the first time they go out again it would most likely hurt. Most of the sites recommend steps to prevent this from happening by adding some stretches and strengthening exercises and this was also the advice given to me by other runners so I think I'm going to take that approach.
Firstly I'm heeding advice to rest, mainly because at some points I can hardly walk, let alone run! Then secondly I've invested in a foam roller (though thankfully the running shop had a $12 option rather than the $50 ones I'd seen on the internet... it may not last forever but it feels pretty solid and should last a while at least).
I've never used a foam roller before this injury but I can definitely feel the benefits already. Basically foam rolling is a tough love approach to muscle knots. It hurts like hell but really works! Your own body weight applies pressure to the area and rolling over it is basically a massage without the expense of a trip to a professional. Hopefully rolling, stretching and some strengthening exercises will help me recover and prevent future injury.
If you've suffered with ITB issues and have any advice please feel free to comment as I'm interested to try anything that might help me get back on the road as soon as possible :)

1 comment:

  1. This sounds painful! Hope you're up and running soon.


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