Suspected IT band syndrome..

I've been running about a month, recently i've been getting pain on the side of my left knee that eventually spreads around my knee. It gets so bad i start limping.

Monday i did 2.5 miles, the last 1/2 mile was tough but ran untill i got to my car. Driving home was fine, but when i got out of the car it hurt bad, i limped into the house! 

the pain has more or less gone but i'm getting twinges around my knee.

It's realy doing my head in as i've gradually been building the miles, realy enjoying it, then bang, it feels like i might never run again.

I'm going to give it another go friday, i've bought a knee support, will this help?

What can i do to help myself?



  • XX1XX1 ✭✭✭

    I guess you could consider seeing a GP or physio; however...  A good indication of an IT band issue is if the pain is worse whilst running down hill or walking down stairs...  I've had IT band niggles in the past but have continued running by reducing the frequency and/or intensity...  Also, I found that increasing my foot strike rate (cadence) helped.  I've worn a knee support but after running, not during, as I find this keeps the heat in and makes the knee feel more comfortable -- maybe absolutely placebo but I feel that it helps.  Good luck image

  • Thanks, gonna try a 2 mile run on Friday, see if that goes okay. will wear knee support to see if it helps.

    I have an apointment with my GP in a month....hopefully it'll be better by then

  • XX1XX1 ✭✭✭

    If/when you feel any pain then cut back the intensity...  Ensure that you have sufficient rest days and proba ly best not to run if the pain persists...  Let us know how you get on.

  • An ITB specific strap - worn just above the knee really helped me.

  • I had IT band issues a few months ago. I had about 3 physio sessions and did all the exercises the physio prescribed. I had to have a 2-3 week break from running as the physio insisted that running through it would just mean it would take longer to heal or worse still would just keep coming back. I have now been running for 3 months pain free. I need to keep doing the exercises to stop it coming back but this for me is preferable to having to wear a support strap all the time. I think you need to try and find out what is causing the problems as it is usually the result of a weakness in another area.

  •  I think you need to try and find out what is causing the problems as it is usually the result of a weakness in another area.

    totally agree with this. if it is your ITB then you need to look at whether you overpronate, whether you glutes and core need strengthening plus other possible boimechanics. Best to see a physio and really do the exercises regularily. The problem is usually not in the knee at all, thats just where you get the pain.

  • Managed a 3 mile run this afternoon, First mile hurt like hell but ran through it.

    Knee support seems to be doing something, whether it's all in the mind or not, i dont know.

    walking is a bit painfull, not as bad as last Monday but i'll rest for a few days before getting back out next week. Hopefully i'm on the road to recovery image


    Thanks for helping me guys!

  • Try and do some IT band stretches and a foam roller would be a good idea . I went for a sports massage and that really helped me good luck hope it repairs quickly
  • wayne James2 wrote (see)

    Managed a 3 mile run this afternoon, First mile hurt like hell but ran through it.

    walking is a bit painfull, not as bad as last Monday but i'll rest for a few days before getting back out next week. Hopefully i'm on the road to recovery 

    If it's really ITBS, then bravely soldiering on through the pain, resting a few days until it's a little better, then running again when not fully recovered - is most definitely not the road to recovery! I managed to keep this silly cycle of delusion going for around 6-8 weeks last year, even setting some PBs during it, but it inevitably deteriorated until I ended up out injured for around 6 weeks.

    There are plenty of similar stories if you read around. My advice would be don't do what I did. Instead take 3 weeks off running until your knee is pain free and then come back gradually. Focus on strength, stretching and foam rolling whilst you're off and you'll come back stronger than you were before (read up on stretches and strengthening exercises that target the common weaknesses that usually lead to ITBS symptoms) . Swimming is good cross training if you want to keep up CV fitness without aggravating the ITB issues.

  • Cheers, i managed a 3.5 mile run on wed, pain was a bit better. Thursday in work was another story, had to work 13 hours, on my feet all day the pain by 8 last night was quite bad. Gonna have a lazy weekend and i'll give it another shot Monday.

    I'll check your'e blog out tomorrow and the vids, i bought a foam roller so i'll get going with that tomorrow too.

    I got a number for a phisyo (good old NHS) spoke to a woman on the phone for about 15 mins, she said someone will give me a ring to make an appointment, She marked me as urgent. that was Wednesday though and nothing. but i bet they are real busy, so just playing the waiting game for now

  • I totally agreed with Ballesteros, if this is ITB syndrome. Quit running for three weeks and get on with strengthening those glutes and your transverse abdominal muscles. I'd also recommend hip flexor stretches. Time out is totally frustrating but you've got to be pain free before you start again, and then start slowly and be ready to back off if pain returns. Avoid hills at first.

    It can be done though. I almost gave up running after six months due to ITBS but I listened to the physio, stuck with the exercises, got shoes for overpronators (if this is a root cause) and got back to it slowly. I've just finished a half-marathon without a twinge. That sounds smug but I'm so glad I invested the time and energy into fixing this problem.

  • okay, i spoke to soon image. Went out last night, Endomondo said i did 4.25 miles and man the last mile i ended up limping.

    for the people who i ran passed and ended up slipping off the curb onto the road it must have been quite amusing but for me, i was in a world of pain.

    I'm going to phone physio in the morning and get the appointment!

  • Sad to read that as I've been there myself, but I did try my best to warn you image

    If it's ITBS then you need to stop running until your knee is completely pain free, then a day or two more for good measure. As frustrating as it may be, giving in to impatience will just result in partial recovery and further damage and an ultimately longer period of frustration than if you'd rested and recovered at the first sign of ITBS pain.

  • Saw a Physio today, he said there seems to be a problem with my left leg in general. It seems to bend slightly to the right!

    he tried a load of different stretches, non of which caused any pain at all. He gave me some insols to try for 2 weeks before seeing him again. I hope they work, they feel like i have snooker balls in my trainers!

    the letters ITBS never came up once, so i'm starting to doubt thats the problem.

  • "there seems to be a problem with my left leg in general. It seems to bend slightly to the right!"

    Geez, how annoying thats, not only is your leg bent, but its on the wrong side as well!! doh.


  • Sounds like you might not be suffering from ITBS but if you are, my experience:

    I've had it for months now and only feel like I'm getting on top of it. What's fixed it for me:

    Foam rolling

    Stretching, everywhere

    Strength work, squats, lunges, dead lifts, clam shells, core stuff

    After a while I became kind of "immune" to the foam rolling. I can foam roll with all my weight on either side with very little pain and to me that means it's not "getting in there". I also foam rolled my glutes, quads, hamstrings.

    Switch up your shoes, don't stick with the same pair all the time. I started getting some training in with minimal shoes and I think that's helped build up strength and improved my form

    Flexibility has been a massive thing for me and made a lot of difference

    Getting an agressive sports massage each week for several weeks has worked amazing well too. 

    It's definitely something you need to make a plan for and stick to it religiously

    I'm not 100% yet and I'm going to be attempting Snowdonia marathon (first marathon) in a few weeks which is a little daunting but I feel tons more confident than I did. I couldn't run 2 miles at one point this year, I ran 15 without too much trouble last weekend

    Hope this helps.

  • Foam roller. I can't tell you how much this has helped me.

  • Trouble is ITBFS is a multifactorial condition. But because it's a friction syndrome ANY aggravating movement will delay healing. Plus the band has a poor blood supply so again hinders healing.

    Stretching - the ITB has no stretch receptors so you won't feel it there, only a slight stretch in the hip.

    Rest from running.. Cross train doing anything that's pain free, for sanity. And increasing blood supply aids healing.

    Foam roller - slowly. Staying over trigger points until they go from excruciating to tolerable discomfort.

    Accupuncture - again targeting the triggers points.

    Glute medius strengthening along with transversus abdominus - so clams, inner range activating core muscles & not rotating pelvis during the movement.

    Biomechanics - look at your running style. Increase cadence & shorten stride length. When returning to running do not increase mileage or time too quickly.

    Signs it's still there - a tightness in the outside of your leg that gradually builds and gets painful while you run, worse when the knee is at a certain angle.

  • Feral, does accupuncture really help? I've been told to try accupuncture to help some of the tight muscles in my back as well the ITB; must admit I've been a bit skeptical on how it all works.

  • Well I both use it and I've had it, so IMO yes.

    I'm only trained in the clinical western accupuncture, not traditional Chinese medicine. So I use it for trigger point pain, putting the needles into areas that are painful, rather than away from the pain / meridians which the Chinese method does. 

    How it works - it alters the body's response to pain, the pain gate mechanism. The needles are as fine as human hair so there's no pain putting them in. But when they hit a taut band in the muscle a pressure sensation is felt. The brain reacts to this concept of 'being stabbed' by producing pain killing endorphins at the 'injury' site. This helps the pain.

  • Intriguing!

  • It's a watered down version of the endorphins the brain produces to allow the body to function through pain / disability. We've all experienced that running.. the last bit of a run where despite being knackered, feeling ill, sore etc we all manage to speed up! image

  • A quick update, sticking to 5k for the moment and foam rolling daily.

    Managing 5k with just a little pain, I've had 2 days rest so back out tomorrow. Hopefully it's the beginning of the end of the pain.

  • Another trip to physio today, he says it probably is the IT band. He gave me a load of stretches, gonna do them as often as possible.

    Walking has become a challenge now, in constant pain so looks like running is out the window for at least another week image

  • I have / had ITB, not to the level you have described, mine I believe was caused during a HM when  ran too fast down a steep hill section near the end. Pain would kick in after 30 minutes, would then limp badly afterwards but generally ok the next day. Have received acupuncture, stretches, strengthening and foam roller. One week later physio said ITB was not so tight, could go back to gentle jogging on treadmill with two day's rest between each session, first two times had some slight pain. Called Physio to see what I should do, he said if the pain was no more than 2 out of 10 then that would be fine anymore then we would need to rethink. He also insist on foam roller before and after run, plus ice on knee for 20 mins at end of run.


    That's my story, so far, want to step up and run outside will have a couple more runs on treadmill and then an enforced break of a week due to work before really testing it further. Hope to start spring marathon training shortly so would like to start injury free.

  • 40 mins on treadmill, pain now only 1 out of 10, fingers crossed going ok.

  • Just been reading through this thread and wondered how the ITB problem is now Wayne? I also made the mistake of attempting to run after first injuring myself and think I have caused more damage. I originally started getting pain in the side of my knee after going on a long club run and running down a steep hill very fast. 

    I took 3 days rest and attempted to run again but after 3k was limping and had to stop. That was over a week ago and it is still very painful now. I have been experiencing severe pain throughout the day just walking around. 

  • Steven - are you sure its ITB syndrome? If yes then all of the above advice applies. Its a slow, frustrating thing but you can beat it with the right response. You have to fix the bioimechanics or it will always be a recurring problem. Good luck

  • I'm not 100% certain anymore because there feels like there is pain and a lot of inflammation around the front of the knee now. What do you mean by 'fix the biomechanics?'
Sign In or Register to comment.