General Discussion Triathlon Talk » chronic IT Band Issues Rss Feed  
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2012-05-15 12:47 PM

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Subject: chronic IT Band Issues
Help!  IT has flared up again and my long runs are only up to 8 miles (training for 1st 1/2 Iron).  I know about rolling and stretching and I am sure that I could do a better job but it feels beyond just a roll and a stretch.


2012-05-15 1:59 PM
in reply to: #4210942

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Subject: RE: chronic IT Band Issues
find someone that can do the graston technique on you. It worked wanders for me! A little uncomfortable, but worth every moment!
2012-05-15 2:33 PM
in reply to: #4210942

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Subject: RE: chronic IT Band Issues

I don't know anything about your fitness background, but here are the usual causes/fixes

  1. Slow down.  Running too fast while adding volume generally causes running over use injuries.
  2. Roll every night.
  3. Check your saddle height.
  4. Take a week off running and build back slowly.
  5. Stay hydrated.
2012-05-15 2:48 PM
in reply to: #4210942

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Subject: RE: chronic IT Band Issues
I had to take a full 4 weeks off after an IM last year where IT issues flared up on the run.
2012-05-15 3:06 PM
in reply to: #4210942

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Subject: RE: chronic IT Band Issues
Of course if you get the graston done, you still need to work on the underlying problem (strechting, rolling, etc)
2012-05-16 7:41 AM
in reply to: #4210942

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Subject: RE: chronic IT Band Issues
Thanks for the confirmation on Graston.  I am looking into that right now.  I did find some interesting research that is suggesting that arthroscopic surgery is proving to be very effective...don't know.


2012-05-16 8:23 AM
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Subject: RE: chronic IT Band Issues

While training for Louisville I had ongoing IT Band problems and thought that I'd miss a chunk of run training.  As per the suggestion of a friend I, reluctantly, tried an IT Band Strap.  I ran completely pain free (except when I forgot the strap) for 4 months while building up for IM.  I was afraid that maybe I was making the problem worse while just masking the symptoms but typical IT rolling, stretching, and rest solved my problem between IM and the start of the next running season and I've not had a problem since. 

 

http://www.rei.com/product/704435/pro-tec-athletics-iliotibial-band-wrap

2012-05-16 1:20 PM
in reply to: #4210942

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Subject: RE: chronic IT Band Issues

visiting a good PT might be helpful too.  Often IT band issues - especially chronic ones - means you have a weekness or imbalance somewhere.  Graston, ARP, rolling, etc are all good things and they do help but if you're not addressing the true root cause the pain will likely come back.

For me, it was hip and glute weakness.  There was a huge difference in how well I could fire my right glute vs left glute.  On top of that I had weak hip adductors (or maybe abductors, I always get them confused).   As a result the PT showed how my right leg was doing some goofy stuff during my runs (externally rotating), left leg was trying to compensate and the result was IT band pain. 

Now  I do squats (normal and single leg) and hip exercises 2-3 times a week (nothing too major, just about 10 minutes worth) and for the last 12 months I've been free of any IT band pain.   

 

2012-05-16 10:32 PM
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Subject: RE: chronic IT Band Issues
DB - 2012-05-16 2:20 PM

visiting a good PT might be helpful too.  Often IT band issues - especially chronic ones - means you have a weekness or imbalance somewhere.  Graston, ARP, rolling, etc are all good things and they do help but if you're not addressing the true root cause the pain will likely come back.

For me, it was hip and glute weakness.  There was a huge difference in how well I could fire my right glute vs left glute.  On top of that I had weak hip adductors (or maybe abductors, I always get them confused).   As a result the PT showed how my right leg was doing some goofy stuff during my runs (externally rotating), left leg was trying to compensate and the result was IT band pain. 

Now  I do squats (normal and single leg) and hip exercises 2-3 times a week (nothing too major, just about 10 minutes worth) and for the last 12 months I've been free of any IT band pain.    

+1  

I attended a coaching session tonight by Coach Dan of http://www.enduranceconcepts.com/.

Yes, yes, yes, the ITB problem is most commonly caused by lack of flexibility in hip flexors and/or inadequate strength in glutes and abductors.  Often athletes can take it easy and run slower for a while and they build some strength and their body adapts and they're ok.  But for those with recurring ITB pain... 1. squats, 2. reverse lunges, 3. leg swings (gently at first, carefully keeping one's foot aligned, straight fore and aft), 4. donkey kicks, etc.  

Gentle dynamic stretches and strengthening exercises, only once or twice a week, over several weeks will increase flexibility and allow running without the body torquing the legs to compensate for too tight hip flexors and lack of strength in the glutes relative to the demand/pace you are pushing your body to do. 

Rollers help ease the pain, treat the symptom.  Stretching and strengthening address the cause. 

2012-05-17 10:09 AM
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Subject: RE: chronic IT Band Issues
x3 or 4 on finding the root of the problem.  Hip weakness is a possibility but mine stemmed from my bike pedals of all things.  So check your bike fit/pedals, get a gait analysis and throw in some hip strengtheners for good measure.  Good luck!
2012-05-17 10:30 AM
in reply to: #4214794

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Subject: RE: chronic IT Band Issues

jrj0924 - 2012-05-17 11:09 AM x3 or 4 on finding the root of the problem.  Hip weakness is a possibility but mine stemmed from my bike pedals of all things.  So check your bike fit/pedals, get a gait analysis and throw in some hip strengtheners for good measure.  Good luck!

What was wrong with your pedals?  I think my problem stems from the bike because it bothered me when I was not running, but I can't figure out how or why.



2012-05-17 2:36 PM
in reply to: #4213241

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Subject: RE: chronic IT Band Issues
DB - 2012-05-16 11:20 AM

visiting a good PT might be helpful too.  Often IT band issues - especially chronic ones - means you have a weekness or imbalance somewhere.  Graston, ARP, rolling, etc are all good things and they do help but if you're not addressing the true root cause the pain will likely come back.

For me, it was hip and glute weakness.  There was a huge difference in how well I could fire my right glute vs left glute.  On top of that I had weak hip adductors (or maybe abductors, I always get them confused).   As a result the PT showed how my right leg was doing some goofy stuff during my runs (externally rotating), left leg was trying to compensate and the result was IT band pain. 

Now  I do squats (normal and single leg) and hip exercises 2-3 times a week (nothing too major, just about 10 minutes worth) and for the last 12 months I've been free of any IT band pain.   

 

When I started to include more yoga,single leg lunges and squats my issues went away.

2012-05-27 10:26 PM
in reply to: #4210942

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Subject: RE: chronic IT Band Issues

I will sing this from the mountain tops. I had chronic IT pain for years and years and tried everything: IT band straps, rollers, etc.

Two things did wonders and literally fixed it overnight:

1) Wear knee braces (like these: LINK).  Who cares what you look like... if you're trying to do something like an IM with bad knees, these are life saves.  An IT band strap can only restrain so much IT band movement and friction.  These things lock your knees in and if you get the right size, can actually be comfortable.

2) Ice.  Ice.  Ice.  Every night.  IT pain is swelling.  Only NSAIDs and icing can reduce inflammation.

 

Go forth and conquer!



Edited by kevinlbrown 2012-05-27 10:27 PM
2012-05-28 9:57 AM
in reply to: #4214138

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Subject: RE: chronic IT Band Issues
AtlantaBill - 2012-05-16 11:32 PM
DB - 2012-05-16 2:20 PM

visiting a good PT might be helpful too.  Often IT band issues - especially chronic ones - means you have a weekness or imbalance somewhere.  Graston, ARP, rolling, etc are all good things and they do help but if you're not addressing the true root cause the pain will likely come back.

For me, it was hip and glute weakness.  There was a huge difference in how well I could fire my right glute vs left glute.  On top of that I had weak hip adductors (or maybe abductors, I always get them confused).   As a result the PT showed how my right leg was doing some goofy stuff during my runs (externally rotating), left leg was trying to compensate and the result was IT band pain. 

Now  I do squats (normal and single leg) and hip exercises 2-3 times a week (nothing too major, just about 10 minutes worth) and for the last 12 months I've been free of any IT band pain.    

+1  

I attended a coaching session tonight by Coach Dan of http://www.enduranceconcepts.com/.

Yes, yes, yes, the ITB problem is most commonly caused by lack of flexibility in hip flexors and/or inadequate strength in glutes and abductors.  Often athletes can take it easy and run slower for a while and they build some strength and their body adapts and they're ok.  But for those with recurring ITB pain... 1. squats, 2. reverse lunges, 3. leg swings (gently at first, carefully keeping one's foot aligned, straight fore and aft), 4. donkey kicks, etc.  

Gentle dynamic stretches and strengthening exercises, only once or twice a week, over several weeks will increase flexibility and allow running without the body torquing the legs to compensate for too tight hip flexors and lack of strength in the glutes relative to the demand/pace you are pushing your body to do. 

Rollers help ease the pain, treat the symptom.  Stretching and strengthening address the cause. 

Totally agree - i had a great PT/Massage therapist who spent a lot of time addressing the root cause in my low back and hips. 

I also started doing yoga regularly since the exercises and stretches in PT matched many of the movements in yoga - it's a great combo of flexibility and strength. 

Haven't had IT band trouble in years!

2012-05-28 10:47 PM
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Subject: RE: chronic IT Band Issues
juniperjen - 2012-05-28 10:57 AM 

I also started doing yoga regularly since the exercises and stretches in PT matched many of the movements in yoga - it's a great combo of flexibility and strength. 

Haven't had IT band trouble in years!

Beat me to it.

I found rolling and the straps to be ineffective.  Occasionally I'll do squats and lunges and what not, but I'm not entirely sure they help - so I am not as consistent with it as I'd like to be.

My IT band issues that plagued me for two years went away once I got a couple deep tissue massages for short term relief, followed by setting aside an entire offseason to doing yoga 4x per week for 4 months, and since then going once/week for maintenance.  Occasionally if I've had hard workouts or a hard race, I'll feel it rubbing with no pain for 1-2 weeks - kind of like a built in sensor to tell me to take it easy.  So for me, I just found it came about when I was trying too hard - too many intervals, too many threshold miles, etc.  I've recently started to suspect it's because I over-stride a bit in those situations.

I also found during a 30k this past winter that if I am feeling that rubbing, if I adjust my mechanics slightly, I can make it go away.  This article from ChiRunning is the best I've seen at articulating how exactly to adjust mechanics.

Good luck - one thing I've learned is that there is no single solution for it.

2012-05-29 5:10 AM
in reply to: #4210942

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Subject: RE: chronic IT Band Issues

For me, minimalist running shoes, foam rolling and walk breaks on long runs were the solution. Try some barefoot running.



2012-05-29 10:34 AM
in reply to: #4210942

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Subject: RE: chronic IT Band Issues
Thanks for the discussion everyone.  I started with Graston treatments last week.  We will see how it goes.  The idea that I had all kinds of scar tissue that was causing a problem made sense to me, so we will see...
2012-05-29 4:32 PM
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Subject: RE: chronic IT Band Issues

I had horrible recurring IT band issues until I strengthened the stablilizer muscles that were weak.

These are the exercises I used:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GLrKr54yA0

I did them 3x/week for 2 months and now I have virtually no problems. 

2012-05-29 4:41 PM
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Subject: RE: chronic IT Band Issues
Mrs. brown_dog_us - 2012-05-17 11:30 AM

jrj0924 - 2012-05-17 11:09 AM x3 or 4 on finding the root of the problem.  Hip weakness is a possibility but mine stemmed from my bike pedals of all things.  So check your bike fit/pedals, get a gait analysis and throw in some hip strengtheners for good measure.  Good luck!

What was wrong with your pedals?  I think my problem stems from the bike because it bothered me when I was not running, but I can't figure out how or why.

Sorry for the late response!

I had Speedplays and apparently there wasn't enough float in the pedal or something like that, my left toe was turned too far in which cause things to go out of whack. I switched back to my Looks and haven't had a problem.

2012-05-29 9:35 PM
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Subject: RE: chronic IT Band Issues
copa2251 - 2012-05-29 5:10 AM

For me, minimalist running shoes, foam rolling and walk breaks on long runs were the solution. Try some barefoot running.

The minimalist shoes (Newtons) and transitioning to a more "natural" running form did it for me as well.
2012-06-04 8:20 PM
in reply to: #4215559

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Subject: RE: chronic IT Band Issues
nevergivin - 2012-05-17 2:36 PM
DB - 2012-05-16 11:20 AM

visiting a good PT might be helpful too.  Often IT band issues - especially chronic ones - means you have a weekness or imbalance somewhere.  Graston, ARP, rolling, etc are all good things and they do help but if you're not addressing the true root cause the pain will likely come back.

For me, it was hip and glute weakness.  There was a huge difference in how well I could fire my right glute vs left glute.  On top of that I had weak hip adductors (or maybe abductors, I always get them confused).   As a result the PT showed how my right leg was doing some goofy stuff during my runs (externally rotating), left leg was trying to compensate and the result was IT band pain. 

Now  I do squats (normal and single leg) and hip exercises 2-3 times a week (nothing too major, just about 10 minutes worth) and for the last 12 months I've been free of any IT band pain.   

 

When I started to include more yoga,single leg lunges and squats my issues went away.

This....I'm betting OP has imbalances on one side of the body yoga/TRX good way of fixing all of this...

 

 



2012-06-04 8:24 PM
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Subject: RE: chronic IT Band Issues
michael_runs - 2012-05-29 9:35 PM
copa2251 - 2012-05-29 5:10 AM

For me, minimalist running shoes, foam rolling and walk breaks on long runs were the solution. Try some barefoot running.

The minimalist shoes (Newtons) and transitioning to a more "natural" running form did it for me as well.

For every person that has good luck in Newtons etc there 2 people that destroy themselves. Do a google search on "Newton Running shoes and Injuries".  They killed me and I'm a very neutral high arched runner massive issues with tight calves and ankle issues.

 

 

2012-06-07 1:40 PM
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Subject: RE: chronic IT Band Issues
Everyone has some great advice.  I would add ART therapy.  It worked for me.  I now use tp Therapy products everyday but I also am a certified coach now and realized that I just plain and simple over did it with to much training volume at the wrong time.  Also running with bad form since a kid.
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