Busted ITBS

Hello fellow runners!

So yesterday I attempted to run 16 miles, it was actually going pretty great until at the 11.5 mile marker and had to stop. (luckily some random woman in a car offered me a lift back home.... THANK YOU!)


Some ice, pain killers and bandages later I started google-ing and turns out I have what appears to be Illiotibial Band symptom (ITBS or ITS).


I belive it's a serious injury because I can barely walk, some of my flatmates think i should have it checked in the NHS.


So I wanted to ask, has anyone suffered this? should I go have it checked out o stick to rest, ice, elevation and compresion? 
also, does anyone know how long it will be before I can run again? the Rome marathon is getting closer!

Thank you for your help and time! 


  • wouldn't hurt to go to your gp or to a physio. Self diagnosis using the internet is always accurate

  • agreed, i'll make my way there today!


  • ITB issues are something I work with every day. As per usual, the problems tend to be caused by a combination of insufficient flexibility and poor technique. My first recommendation is to visit a sports chiropractor (as they can physically loosen up the joints of the legs) and then start looking at your flexibility and running technique. Often times the underlying cause may an ankle sprain in the past, even years ago, which has led to prgoressive joint stiffness and muscle over activation. To completely sort out the problem will take a few months, but when done properly you will not only run injury free, but also with much greater efficiency and enjoyment. In this regard, the various products and specialised shoes are there to try and mask the problem rather than really to address the cause at fundamental level.

  • Hey guys!

    So i went to the NHS (kudos to great service, me being a foreign student here in the UK...) And it was precisely ITBS.... so shame.


    Anyways, doc said it was a mild injury so i'll be out of the game 1 week atleast.

    Just wanted to ask.... any recomendations as to make healing more efficient? I've been sitting in my YogaBall all day (studying for examinations...) and i've been bouncing on it and rolling around whilst sitting and my knee feels alot better in comparison to morning time. (just thought it might aid fellow injurees)

    also Hunkydory, I did get a twisted ankle a couple months ago...seems it caught up with me.   From some of the things you said you sound like a chiropractor to me so please don't mind me asking:
    1) could the fact that i've been running in Vibrams Shoes brought upon me ITBS?  
    2) would you recomend me visiting the chiropractor as soon as possible? any recomendations as for Manchester?

    Thank you for your help and time! 


  • Hiya, yea the vibrams may have irritated it. I think it was most likely on its way anyway, but running in vibrams requires a heck of a lot of strength - my longest runs in vibrams and other barefoot shoes are only about 10km. You need to build it up gradually and be patient - in the end (after 12-18 months) you will have your result. I work around west London, and don't know the chiropractors personally up your way, but good place to start is the BCSC (British council for sports chiropractic) website where they list all the members. I think it would be a good idea to visit one soon so your healing can get started.
  • just realised I meant to say that internet diagnosis is NOT always accurate

    anyway, you have a diagnosis

    if you have a foam roller, then foam rolling can be good (painful but keep at it)

    seeing a physio can be good - for example my physio has said that my problems (knee and ITB) actually come from a weakness in the glutes so he has given me exercises to strengthen and fire the glutes

  • Same as mathschick, my physio also stated the root cause is weakness in the glutes and therefore, not using the glutes muscles to the full extend while running.  I foam roll ITB both legs severals times a week and trying to increase flexibility and strengthen the glutes.

  • I suffered from crippling ITB in September, could barely walk but after a course of foam rollering (tennis/cricket ball if you dont want to fork out £40 quid), icing up, tiger balm and resting it went in about 2 weeks and havent felt in since....Until today, its reappeared 9 days before my first ultra. Ive found that the best quick cure is tiger balm and rollering, I swear by the stuff

  • I have had ITB for about 5 years now, i have tried everything and back it comes. i have now found out that if i run at a  slow pace around 5/6 MPH , i seem to be able to control it, but any faster and it will start to hurt. i find resting for to long does no good just slowing down seems to work for me.

  • I agree with the posts above - I have ITB issues on and off and therefore use the foam roller regularly which keeps it in check. I also use tiger balm and tape my knee when running long runs. When very acute I also used ice packs and alternated with heat.

    Regarding shoes though - I have found my vivobarefoot shoes fine and ran 13 miles on the cliff paths no problems. Initially my GP recommended using orthotics in the shoes, not sure that they helped though and I don't use them now. I do work on the quads and attempt single leg squats daily.

    Good luck.

  • I just put a post on about how I have resolved my ITB problem. Many of the posts above echo the remedial steps I have been taking;

    - foam roller

    - strengthening exercises for the glutes

    - releasing of tension and breaking down of scar tissue in the ankle which had accumulated after a bad sprain some years ago

    - forget orthotics and work instead on correcting muscle imbalances

    In the meantime,if you are running and the ITB pain comes on, try running sideways for ten to twenty steps on each side, crossing one leg in front of the other, making sure you face forwards and not in the direction in which you are running. You should feel the pull from your hip and the tension in your ITB should start to release.

  • Thanks Penny Walker 3! i'll keep that in mind!

    and Jelleybaby, I followerd your advice and got some tiger balm, gave it a go yesterday and while im not sure if it will spare me, at least it smells nice image haha

    also, got a foam roller for a fiver in sports direct so bean rolling it up and working on glutes in this down time!

    thank you all for your help!  

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