Answers to my IT band issue: FINALLY

In case you missed my honest and borderline over-sharing post on where I am with my IT band, basically, I’ve been dealing with IT band syndrome since October. Not.fun.

I felt I had tried everything, and in the words of Lauren Fleshman, The IT band has hit rock bottom.

Here’s a rundown of what I’ve done thus far:

  • Completely rested for 4 weeks
  • Rehabbed with hip/core Physical therapy exercises
  • Tried ART therapy
  • Tried Graston Technique
  • Got a Cortisone injection
  • Spent Hundreds of dollars on massages
  • Took Ibuprofen like it was my job (despite my aversion to NSAIDS)
  • Read Dozens of articles on how to fix it
  • Foam rolled like it’s my job

Do you get my point? Are you still reading? I have exhausted myself!

After all this, including my post a few weeks ago on “surrendering”, and accepting where I am right now, albeit still somewhat injured and just as confused as the doctors about my issue that doesn’t seem to line up with the typical IT band description most have, I believe I am FINALLY seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

You see, my IT band has been so tricky. This entire time, it has never hurt while walking, it has never hurt while going down stairs, I never feel it on the bike, never feel it swimming, nothing hurts except when I am running, and I do not start feeling it until I’m 45 minutes into my run. It never hurts POST run! With that said, I’ve still been able to train at a lower intensity level.  I do need to make something clear: RUNNING THROUGH AN INJURY IS DUMB. We all know that. Don’t do it. I rested for a month, and resting, in this case, was not making it better. There have been other injuries I’ve had that resting was the most appropriate treatment plan.This was not the case with my IT band.

Moving on.

So, after telling these symptoms to all the professionals, one would assume eventually we’d figure out it has GOT to be my running form, right?! Well, it took 4 months and my dear friend Jeni, who isn’t even a physical therapist (yet! She’s almost finished with school 🙂 ) to hit the nail on the head.

A few days ago, I asked Jeni to film me running on the treadmill. She recently began analyzing running form, and while still in the learning phase, we both felt it would be good practice for her, and heck, maybe we’d learn something about my injury. Although I had already been filmed and analyzed a few times back in the fall, it wasn’t until this go around that we believe we finally learned the issue.  You see, before all this, my form looked “pretty good” according to the physical therapists and gait analyzers.

I want to show you the screen shots of the video to see if you find what Jeni found:

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Do you see it? Did you notice my “cross-over” gait on the second photo?

I could bore you with the latest medical journals saying people with cross-over gait are much more likely to experience IT band problems than those who don’t, but take it for what it’s worth. It exponentially increases your chance for IT band problems. Boom.

As we were figuring all this out, I was practically freaking out in my head.

No, literally. I was freaking out. DOES THIS MEAN I CAN FIX IT? TELL ME WHAT TO DOOOO!!!

So, what IS next?

I talked to my physical therapist I’ve been working with, showed him the film, and yep, he saw what Jeni saw, too. And agreed, this could definitely be the culprit.

Well, apparently fixing it is quite simple

A conscious effort to run “wider” rather than “narrow”, while being careful not to overdo it as you are stressing new areas of the body.

And obviously continuing with #allthegluteexercises , specifically, hip hikes:

Hip hikes for the win.

To say I’m excited and hopeful is an understatement. To say I’m sold would be a lie. I’m taking all this with a grain of salt. Maybe this isn’t the answer, and maybe I still am dealing with this in 3 months from now, but I sure as hell hope not.

Here’s to a celebration.

My husband left me a note on our bathroom mirror yesterday that said this:

“WELCOME BACK!”

I think we all can agree spouses of runners/endurance athletes should all be given a hug and a martini. They rock.

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2 thoughts on “Answers to my IT band issue: FINALLY

  1. Pingback: My Go-To for Quick Fuel | mskatieblaze

  2. It’s always great to have answers! I’ve been working on running “wider” for years now – it has definitely helped everything! Mentally, it is exhausting at first because you’re thinking through all your workouts, but it is definitely worth it!

    Like

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