So my physio has told me I have ITBS.


I've been running for a year and this is the first injury to keep me off the road for a while.  He gave me some suggestions for stretches etc, I've had my trainers and gait checked out (all ok btw) but what now?  It's been nearly 3 weeks since my last run but the pain is still there.  Does this mean the stretches I do should prevent it coming back?  It originally happened towards the end of my run when I was on the flat, no different to the countless other runs I've done and as I have some HMs to plan for I don't want this cropping up again.

As well as using a foam roller I'm thinking of using an ITBS or cho pat strap, are they likely to do much good?


  • It took 2 months for me to get out running again and even then I had to be careful. That was with stretches and strengthening to hips and glutes twice a day plus between 15 and 30 mins of foam rolling a day. I've never used a cho pat strap although am quite curious and off to google now!

    That's the bad news - good news is that since I started running again at Christmas I've run an average of about 30 miles a week (often more) without a recurrence of the ITBS ( although occassionally I do jsut feel it in top of knee cap (I have continued with the same exercises and foam rolling since I started running again - if I feel a twinge I just foam roll more!)

    The one other change I made was that I used to do all my running on the roads - I now do at least 50% of them off road as the physio told me that this would vary the impact area which might help - no idea how valid this advice is!

  • For me it was degrees of pain - I think you can have an ITB that is tighter than it should be and still run but without a lot of love and attention it will get worse - the hip and glute strengthening is essential and as they get stronger there is hope the underlying problem goes away. The foam rolling seems to help keep the symptoms at bay.

    When I had to stop running it was not a choice thing - my knee hurt a lot with every stride and after sitting at work for over an hour I couldn't even walk properly.

  • SlowkoalaSlowkoala ✭✭✭

    I had this a couple of years ago and had to have a 3 month rest from running. Had about 8 physio sessions with lots of strengthening exercises. My problem is that my right hip overpronates. In the past 2 years, I had no pain and ran my first marathon 2 months ago with no niggles whatsoever. But unfortunately the ITBS came back about a month ago. Think I may have gone back to racing too soon after the marathon. But the good news is that I stopped running as soon as I felt the pain again and this time I have only needed 3 physio sessions. I am back running again and fingers crossed all seems OK. I am now going to a Pilates class every week as I am convinced that for me this is how I will prevent it reoccuring. I will also try harder to keep up the exercises the physio gave me. I may also consider orthotics.

    My physio reckons that strengthening exercises help more in the long run than foam rollering, although I did do this too ( as well as icing - went for belt and braces approach!) The physio also said that I would get better quicker if I took a total rest from running until was pain free.

    Hope you manage to get yours sorted.

  • Hi Russburt,

    Im sorry to hear about your ITBS problems - I can relate (as Im sure many others can as well!). This is definitely not a fun injury, and can be extremely frustrating at times.  My best advice for you is to figure out WHY you got an IT band that is too tight in the first place. Believe it or not, but your IT band is SUPPOSE to be tight -its function is to stabilize the outside of your leg. Foam rolling can be helping in the sense that it will target adhesions in the myofacial tissue on the outside of your leg. Additionally, you should stretch you Gluteus Maximus, hip external and internal rotators.

    There are a number of reasons why someone develops ITBS - it could be due to overpronation, causing increased knee rotation - which increases the tension on the muscles and tissue (ITB) on the outside of the leg. Or, its possible that it has originated from your hips - either tight or weak musculature - which can create too much strain in the ITB and create (possibly) a rubbing against the outside of your knee.

    My point is, this is a nasty injury that could linger for longer than necessary unless you treat the appropriate root cause. I was unfortunately one of the cases where it lasted for a year a half.


    Best of luck with your rehabilitation. If you have any questions please visit our website at . Information on running injuries can be found under the 'Injury Info' tab.



  • Hi Russburt,

    Yes, you can run if you can tolerate it. The worst you can do is cause a flare up of potential inflammation which might be occurring - so I recommend that perhaps limit your running intensity ( whether that be through distance  or speed) until you can tolerate it without any pain. From my experience with ITBS, there will be a point where the pain comes on and then it will just get worse from there on in - it might be 20 minutes, it might be 40 minutes. While youre rehabilitating though, you're only going to be able to work your way up and find that comfortable zone by trying it out. You may also want to try using a ITB strap - which applies pressure over the distal portion of your ITB ( above the knee). Please keep in mind, if you find this works, it will not cure your knee injury, but it might allow you to run a bit longer or further while you are rehabilitating! The one I used was called Pro-Tec ITB strap and you can find them in any running store or online.


    Hope that helps!



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