IT Band

Recently picked up an IT band injury which is a real bummer.  had physio and will continue but how long does it usually last?  Not going to run for a month or 2 but a friend from my local running club was off for 9 months.   tad concerned as i have a marathon in June next year. 

Offers advise would be much appreciated.



  • Nick LNick L ✭✭✭

    'an IT band injury'

    What sort of injury?

  • Pain on the outside of the knee & the hip is tender when poking, i'm ok when i stop running

  • Nick LNick L ✭✭✭

    So ITBS then by the sounds of it....? Sharp stabby pain in the side of the knee?

    In which long is a piece of string.

    I have had this, and after some manipulation of my SI joint, some dry needling in the IT band and a couple of days non running with anti-inflamatories I have been ok.

    Others have taken lots of time...months. 

    You will need to stretch lots - the IT band itself....possibly using a foam roller.

    Also you may have weak hip abductors and glutes which can be a contributory factor I think....

  • Thanks Nick.

    Will get on with the stretches etc and buy a roller. 

     Do IT band straps around the knee actually work?

  • Nick LNick L ✭✭✭
    Dont know....i have never used one.
  • stretching stretching and mroe stretching....i took a month off for it to heal and had a sport specific rehab training programme done for me by my pt to strengthen my body back up and taught me how to manage the ITBS - learn to love your foam roller but get someone to show you how to use it.

    It's really common and apparently some people are just 'tighter' than others - once you learn how to manage it you should be fine!
  • Another recommendation from here for lots and lots and lots of stretching, and foam rollering.image

    I'd also strongly recommend pilates in the long term - in the class I go to (a 'modified pilates' class aimed at people with injuries/long term mobility problems, taught by an instructor who's also a physio) we do lots of work on hips and glutes alongside the rest of the core stability/posture-type stuff.  It's really, really helped. image

    Personally, I've never used the straps - I find that strengthwork, pilates, stretching and manipulation do the trick.

    I always have to bear in mind my ITBs are 'tight' - I've recognised that just because I've now been discharged from the physio doesn't mean I should stop doing the recommended stretches.  As Lix says, you do learn to manage these things.

    Good luck!

  • Trying to find on the web exercises to do at home but not having a lot of luck.  Any one got links to said sites?

  • i had a spell of ITBS , it started last december when  the weather was freeeeezing, and stopped almost immediately when the weather warmed up a bit ie. Marchimage.....phew

  • ......or maybe it was severe cramp, i dont know.  it was v painful and the outer joint of my left knee, i couldnt run further than 4miles without having serious discomfort and pain that spread all the way up to my hip the same sideimage
  • I got a friend to roll mine out with a rolling pin!  it was very painful but it definitely worked

  • that sounds very much like ITBS, loulabell.

    As for exercises, Cheshirecat...

    ...most of mine were given to me by a physio, or stuff I've been taught in pilates classes - look up shoulder bridges (there are lots of variations on a theme here), leg and/or knee circles, the clam, leg lifts.  There are also various things to strengthen hip flexors that involve standing on one leg and swinging the other...

    YouTube is worth a look, although you do have to sort the wheat from the chaff in terms of technique/advice....

    Stretches - some basic ones here (including standing quadriceps and ITB) .

    But see also yoga lunge poses, e.g.:

    I'd rather not post too many image examples here though, as I'm not an instructor (still pretty crap at them to be honest, but I'm learning!) so wouldn't necessarily be able to tell a good example of technique from a bad one.  I find it much easier to show people stuff than explain it verbally.

    Generally  - for yoga, pilates, and a lot of physio stuff - it's definitely preferable to actually be taught them face-to-face - there's a lot of subtlety that's lost if you haven't got an instructor to correct position, technique etc - some exercises are unsafe if not done properly.

    Look also at the 'injury proof your body' section on the RW website.  Not always easily browsable/searchable, but there's some useful stuff in there if you dig a little. image

  • I'd definitely get someone to show you how to use a foam roller.
  • Morgan5 wrote (see)

    I got a friend to roll mine out with a rolling pin!  it was very painful but it definitely worked

    Ouch! image
  • mine struck during the paris marathon, knacked any chance of a good time, dreading the recovery, but i stretched it and bought a foam roller to help work it and i was running again after a month.

    Check where you're running, it was constantly running on a camber that done mine in.
  • Geordie Monkey, I think thats what started mine too!! i did a 10k last December which went round a massive airfield- crappy broken up tarmac too- a few hours after i could hardly bend my kneeimage thats how it continued on and off until the March time. id do a run , then itd take me two or three days to get rid of the stiffness and be able to get down the stairs properly with my left kneeimage but the weather def improved it . it just seemed to vanish when the sub zero temps went. i did stretches before a run and used a mega size can of hairspray (typical of moi i know) to roll down the hurty part...image
  • If it helps, I've spent most of this year - since February - not running (had a metatarsal stress fracture earlier this year as well as all the ITB issues).  

    I've been doing loads of cross-training all year, but I started run/walking again over the autumn and have only just got back to full-length runs, and not very long ones at that.

    Anyway, I had a last-minute entry into a 10K last Sunday, and ended up finishing only 8 seconds off my (three-year-old) PB on very little training, and with no ITB problems afterwards. image

    So all the rehab work has definitely paid off. image

  • Thanks all for the advice,  found a good lot of exercises and working my way through them.  So frustrating not running and does not help seeing fplk pounding the pavements. image

  • I had a whole summer of not being able to go out for lovely long runs in the countryside while the days were long. image

    At least you're injured during a miserable part of the year, but I do know how frustrating it is neverthelesss!

    But anyway, best of luck with getting back to rights! image You'll get there!  image

  • ohhhh a rolling pin works soooooooooooo well!!! Black and blue the day after mind yOU!!

    I had a sports massage last night + it brought to mind this thread - was chatting with my trainer and he said hip flexor compressions can help, as can having your ITB 'stripped' which is horrendously painfull but in a good way....take wooden spoon to bite down on image

    Glad you found stretches online @Cheshercat, but I really cannot recommend highly enough seeing a qualified professional to show you how accurately to stretch out. A good yoga class will help no end. Where are you based?

  • Lix  - base in the new forest and have seen a sports physio last week and will go again on NY eve.  it has made a difference but working on the stretches.  

     I have a rolling pin at home so will have to set to and use that.    It does not help sitting down at a pc all day long though cycling home makes up for it.

  • oh good! I'm glad you've seen someone. It will make all the difference. Totes! Go easy with the rolling pin! Do it yourself first so you can gauge the pressure and know what you can stand, before you ask someone else to 'roll' you image

    Also maybe ask your physio about self mfr (mypfascial release) something i've been learning about lately (under the guidance of a pro) and it's really helped my stupid ITB.

    Keep pursuing it. And keep stretching...just as important as the actual running I've come to find!

  • I would definitely recommend getting a foam roller. I've grown to love mine and use it twice a day when things tighten up.

    As well as stretching I'd also do some hip strengthening exercises (think old Jane Fonda work outs) to help in the long term.

    Good luck and hope it gets better soon.
  • Let us know how u get on with the rolling pin.  I still laugh thinking about the first time I was 'rolled' haha!!  I hope the neighbours didn't mind the noise!  It was very painful!
  • Have a look at the Health and Injury section on this website. Lots of stretches and exercises for all parts of legs and hips etc.

    I have been doing about 20 minutes a day of several of these examples for the last month after hurting my iliotibial band.

    Started with mild pain on the outside of my knee and did not take to much notice. Then after a half marathon  I could hardly walk for a week. Now a month later I have done my first exercise today, gentle 30 minutes of bike. Lots of steching before and after.

    Just looking forward to running again.

  • CB69 - There is way i am going to be dressing like this when doing the exercises. 

                                                                  <img src="" width="463" height="662" id="il_fi" />. 

  • I suffered with IT band probs last year, I was out of action for 5 months.  Luckily the 3rd Physio I saw is amazing and help fix it - along with lots and lots of stretching.

     It turns out the problem was a tight achilles putting strain on the knee area, He sorted the achilles and massaged the hell out of the band -  this has reduced the pain almost to nothing, I only get a little after long runs or inadequate stretching.

    I would also recomend seeign a podiatrist as they can check your gait and also see if you have any ankle related problems....

  • Had t run in today due to snow and ice and my leg is on fire.  No pleased at all.

     A tad concerned to hear the length of time it takes to heal.  I do have a tight hamstring so do keep stretching that.  I guess i need a month off with no running at all.  Don't think i have developed a gait but all this kind of kicked off after i ran a marathon back in October. 

     I hate injuries.image

  • It can take different amounts of time to heal, I know it's very frustrating.  At times I felt like giving up altogether but stick with it.  I have to religiously stretch my Band, Glutes and calves if I don't it reoccurs soon enough.  Massage helped no end.

    Is the pain mainly at side of knee or do you get in the hip area also?

  • It is in both places.

     I have done the stretching and exercises and just need to get a roller but may wait until the weather is better for the hopeless post round here.

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