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Friday, May 23, 2014

Iliotibial Band Syndrome.....Another Training Induced Injury!

Iliotibial Band Syndrome is a very common running and cycling injury, that somehow, in 39 years of running, I have managed to avoid .....until NOW! Your ITB is a thick band of fascia that runs from the hip down to the lateral side of the knee, inserting on the outside of the knee just below the kneecap. You can get pain at the hip, or much more commonly, at the outside of the knee. It is not an injury that is easy to run thru, and although I will try for the next week, may have to take some time off. So, now how did this 62 year old man who has been running for 39 years finally get an injury that he hasn't gotten even once before. By making 3 stupid training mistakes ALL AT THE SAME TIME! So, I got what I asked for.....
Here are the three easiest ways to get IBS as a runner....increase mileage and frequency of running too quickly, start running hills, and doing track work which particularly puts pressure on your right Iliotibial Band. Now since I have been doing ALL THREE AT ONCE while accompanying my bride to her physical therapy, I have developed a nice nasty case. So I can't blame anyone else which is always my preference, especially God, and now I have to just grin and bare it.
So here is what I have done thus far. First, I researched my ass off on the googly tubes to find the best practices for this problem. This includes a multifaceted approach of stretching, strengthening, scar tissue breakdown, bracing, reduced activity, and icing. So here is what I am doing. Two specific stretches that stretch out the entire length of the iliotibial band. Three strengthening exercises that strengthen the hip and glute muscles. Lots of icing to the outer knee with those old frozen dixie cups, working "the stick" and the foam roller to break up scar tissue (when you bend the knee thru it's entire range, you hear lots of crackling to the bottom of that ligament). Reducing running to every other day and limiting the runs to a max of 8K. Adding this IBS new balance strap that is designed to move the stress away from the insertion point of the iliotibial band. You place the thick part of the band on your Iliotibial band about an inch or so above the knee. Cost me $18 on amazon and I will try it on a run tomorrow. Here is a short video of how to wear it for those with interest. Anyway, wish me luck. I hope to try and lightly train thru this, but if not, will end up off for a while again. So much for 10 healthy running months out of 30.....

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