T Nation

How to Fix a ITBS?

I have been trolling the boards/internet for a while looking for an answer to my knee problems. Hopefully someone may chime in with some much needed help.

The current issue
I believe I have ITBS. When ever I run the pain on the left side of my knee hurts sooo freaking bad, it hurts to walk, drive a stick, and stairs are painful. This problem flairs up and then goes away. I had this problem ever since BCT in the Army (first time it really was noticeable!). I have actually had it in both knees before, but for some reason my left leg is killing me not my right this time.

Background
Yes I do have flat feet, and yes I do hate running. In fact if I could get away with not running I would, but then again I have a PT test to do, and every morning I get to run on it for 1-2 miles as PT. I have used the method RICE to cure this problem which does help but the next day I am right back to the RICE method. Not to mention the multiple ibuprofen tablets I eat like candy.

The current things I have cut out of my workout. No running on treadmill or running outside, No inclined/decline treadmill hikes. I am only doing low impact cardio like the elliptical, swimming, and the unmanly/sinful bike. from what I have read I know I shouldn’t cut back my leg exercises, but lately it just freaking hurts when I bend my leg. I do realize there are no quick fixes for ITBS, but any tips to getting my ITBand back in shape to run without the pain would be most appreciated!

Sorry to hear about the ITBS, its was a very frustrating injury for me. I’d suggest a foam roller. You can also google different stretches to try. I got hit with it about 4 weeks out from a marathon I’d been traing 20 weeks for. I tried a lot of different therapies, the only thing that worked was to completely stop running for 6 weeks.

Since you can’t stop running, try using the foam roller and stretches as often as possible (2 times a day or more), ice it, keep taking ibuprofen, and maybe get fitted for running shoes or look into foot orthotics.

i actually just recently recovered from the itbs surgery, but hopefully you wont have to go that far.
My pain actually continued after the surgery. find a quality chiropractor in the area. usually they can identify an imbalance or whether orthotics are needed better then internet mds.
also, if the pain is chronic there may be scar tissue. massage therapy worked wonders for me.

in the mean time cut down the mileage as much as possible. stretch, and use the foam roller.

It sounds like you don’t think you can rest, but you do know the first letter of RICE stands for “REST,” right? That means not doing what causes the pain until the injury has sufficiently healed.

I would look into soft tissue work on the glute medius, and strengthening the hip stabilizers with single-leg movements, emphasizing complete control of knee tracking. Check out Mike Boyle’s stuff at

http://www.michaelboyle.biz/joomla/dmdocuments/anterior_knee_pain-9_2006.pdf

http://www.strengthcoach.com/public/1219.cfm (single-leg exercises)

The knee article focuses on anterior knee pain, but that pesky glute medius seems to be at the root of a lot of problems, so check it out. (Grab the pdf before it goes away.)

Thank you for your answers,
I have gotten my self on a PT profile so I can take it easier on running these next 4 weeks. I have hired a legit chiropractor. I am going to a civilian doctor next week for a better understanding on fixes as described above. I have to say I have never been to a chiropractor before. The first session was so painful but I felt so good after. I always thought chiropractors were crocs, but I was sure proven wrong. I have started a more in depth stretching routine daily as well.

Once again thank you all for your answers and support.