When I started running, I started in minimalist shoes. Saucony Kinvara 2s to be exact. Loved them. Still love them. However, I failed to ease into them and my iliotibibial band (ITB) suffered for it. What’s that, you say? To put it non-medically, it is the band on the outside of your leg, from the side of your hip to the outside of your knee. Apparently it’s common in runners, especially if you run downhill a lot or if one of your legs is shorter than the other (it’s more common than you think!).
My pain can be described as a sharp pain on the OUTSIDE of my knee, kind of where the top of my lower leg bone is. When I played flag football, I tore my ITB and I have been susceptible to pain there ever since.
Here’s what I have done to prevent the pain or to relieve the pain when it comes:
- If I’m running longer than 3 miles, I get my distance shoes on. These have the extra padding and support for my lower legs and can handle the shock of running longer distances.
- During the run, I make sure that I strike mid-foot. Keep the heel strikes at a minimum because that’s when I really feel the tension on my ITB.
- After I run, I make sure to fit in my favorite yoga stretch – relaxed pigeon pose, and open my hips and stretch the band. Also I get some protein in my body from chocolate milk or Carnation Breakfast.
- If I hurt myself during the run, most of the time I try to push through it but if I will force myself myself to walk if I feel it increase in pain or area. I will RICE it up when I get home. This means I Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate my leg. When I feel up to it, I get my foam roller and roll it out.
I hope this helps any of you that suffer from this pain. Remember that I’m not a doctor, but write from MY experiences. Happy and healthy running! 🙂