Running with Pain – ITBS

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!).

The infamous IT band, www.athletico.com

The infamous IT band, http://www.athletico.com

 

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!  🙂

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