You tie the laces of your running shoes and head outside for a morning run. At first, everything seems to be going well, and then you start to feel a dull pain coming from outside of the knee. The longer you run, the stronger the pain gets. You stop in your tracks and decide to take it easy for the rest of the day, walking home on a leg that feels tight and sore.
When the same problem crops up during your next workout, you need to know that this wasn’t a fluke. You are likely dealing with Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS or IT Band Syndrome) which is caused by an inflamed IT band rubbing against the upper tibia. There are a variety of causes behind this painful injury like excessive foot pronation, muscle weakness and improper training.
ITBS will only get worse over time if you don’t attempt any treatment. Taking it easy and icing your legs for one workout is not enough. If you want to heal from this injury, you will need to try different solutions:
As a recreational runner or jogger, one of the best ways to treat ITBS is to get a deep-tissue massage a few times a week. The treatment will be painful when you first start, but the discomfort will eventually subside.
Seeing a professional masseuse frequently isn’t a solution that’s financially accessible for the average person. For something more affordable, you can purchase a foam roller to massage yourself.
Get evaluated by a physical therapist to see what’s the root of your ITBS. They will help determine if your injury stems from a problem with muscle flexibility, muscle strength, your gait or all three. They will likely recommend IT Band stretches to reduce the tightness and to improve flexibility and strength in the hips. The stretching routine will bring relief from any discomfort, and it will condition your body for painless exercise in the future.
ITBS can be caused by overpronation. You should go to a chiropodist to go through gait analysis to confirm if this is true or not. Overpronation can be modified with orthopaedic running shoes or custom orthotics. With this improved footwear, you don’t have to worry about irritating your IT band when you decide to return to your running routine.
You can find relief for lots of foot and leg injuries by changing your footwear. You can reduce shin splints, stop bunion pain and mitigate heel spur pain with custom orthotics or orthopaedic running shoes.
Some discomfort is expected during a workout. Your muscles will burn and your lungs will feel hot as you push yourself past your usual run-time, but you shouldn’t be suffering. Any feeling that makes you want to rip off your shoes and sit on the sidewalk shouldn’t be considered a normal part of your work out.
By following tips like undergoing massage therapy, starting physical therapy and changing your footwear, you can heal your body from ITBS. That way, you should make your run-time without a hitch.