Sunday, March 17, 2013

IT Band Injury

I once again find myself injured. This time is an IT Band that is bugging me. It started hurting about half way through Old Pueblo 50 and has only gotten worse since then. The nature of this injury is a little tricky to figure out because where it hurts is not where I feel injured. As I run, I can feel the whole side of my thigh feels "off", calling it tight might be the best description. Eventually, my knee starts hurting. The pain continues to build until it is so severe I cannot continue. (I walked the final mile home from my run Saturday.) The odd thing is that my knee feels totally normal unless I run. I feel the injury in my hip/glute. It doesn't hurt per se, but it sort of tingles and just feels strained/stressed/unhappy.

Anyway, the thing that is driving me most crazy is understanding how to move forward. Overuse injuries are very tricky injuries because there are several components. First, there is always an inflammation piece, this is usually what causes pain. How do we best deal with inflammation? The usual prescription is ice and NSAID. The second component of these injuries is rest. How much is enough? The answer there is usually "it depends". That is the worst thing to hear and the hardest thing to deal with mentally. It depends on your age. It depends on your fitness level. It depends on how bad you are actually hurt. This particular injury is hard because I don't feel pain unless I run? But certain types of strength training make me more aware that my glute muscle isn't right. I assume that is bad even though I wouldn't describe it as pain. And finally, most of these injuries arise from some sort of underlying muscle imbalance or weakness. Then it becomes a matter of physical therapy and integrating proper routines into future training. You have to put together the right mixture of those components and you get a recipe for getting healthy.

I have discovered a few resources for helping to get better. The first two are articles to help understand all of the above components.  This article is from Another good article is the one written by Runner's World. Both do a good job discussing the injury, the recovery, and the physical therapy.

I also found a few YouTube videos to help. This first one is a really good generic routines that all runners would benefit from doing several times a week:

The other is a good video on IT Band and specific recommendations for getting better.

The summary version is that I am back to where I was 7 months ago. I need some rest, some physical therapy, some specific strength training, and a ton of patience. Hopefully I will be able to beat this thing and get back to training in a few weeks.

Here are a few other helpful videos:


  1. You have such a great blog. I hope you get lots of traffic. I appreciate you sharing your insights and issues. I always learn something.

  2. Very interesting and helpful video! These videos are truly gainful for all runners. They can improve their performance through this exercise program.