It’s Friday morning and my alarm goes off at 4:45 am. I turn over in search of the snooze button. While I lie in bed, with the snooze button on, I think of just how easy it would be to fall back asleep. After 5 minutes of contemplation, I remember why I set my alarm for 4:45 in the first place. With that, I roll over, put myself together, and watch the sunrise in the silence of the morning.
Running! Seems easy. Seems as easy as going outside and moving your feet in a faster pace than a walk. Rather, running is very technical. By running incorrectly or even training incorrectly your ability to reach your running goals may not come pain free. Iliotibial Band also known as your “IT band” is by definition, a layer of connective tissue that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin. The job of the IT band and its associated muscles is to extend, abduct, and laterally rotate the hip. In addition, it helps to stabilize the knee. In other words, the IT band is needed for you to run.
Therefore, if the IT band is not in working condition, diagnosed as Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS), by being tight or inflamed, it could put a novice or experienced runner out for weeks if not years. ITBS is a result of any activity that causes the leg to turn inward repeatedly. Turning a leg inward can be due to worn-out shoes, running downhill or on banked surfaces, running too many track workouts in the same direction, or simply running too may miles.
If you have or are experiencing pain on the outside of the knee or hip area you may be experiencing ITBS.
At home treatment of ITBS
- Decrease overall milage or stop running all together depending up pain and inflammation
- Cross train: Swimming, pool running, cycling, or rowing
- Foam Rolling
Ways to prevent ITBS?
- Decrease your mileage or take a few days off if you feel pain on the outside of your knee.
- Stretch your hips before and after every run.
- Make sure your shoes aren’t worn along the outside of the sole. If they are, replace them.
- Run in the middle of the road where it’s flat. (To do this safely, you’ll need to find roads with little or no traffic and excellent visibility.)
- Don’t run on concrete surfaces.
- When running on a track, change directions repeatedly.
- Schedule an evaluation by a podiatrist to see if you need orthotics.
If you are prone to ITBS make sure to follow the above ways to prevent ITBS on a daily basis!