Fellowship of the ITBS

Discussion in 'Health, Nutrition, Injuries & Medical Conditions' started by rickwhitelaw, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. Hawkbilly Barefooters

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2012
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    ITBS is apparently what is causing my knee distress as well. I've been at the glute/hip/core exercises for the last two weeks, but haven't stopped running entirely. It hasn't gotten any worse, but isn't any better either. Perhaps I need to stop running again for a while (arrggghhh!). I just find it very strange that of all the different issues I had while running with regular running shoes, this wasn't one of them. I switch to BF/minimalist running combination, and I don't have any of the issues folks warn of (achilles/calf/stress fractures) but I now get this. Honestly. Perhaps because I'm now running with more of a knee bend ? Running downhill is what especially kills me.

    Anyway, it was great to find this thread and all of the suggested exercises.
  2. talonraid Barefooters

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2011
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    Good luck Hawkbilly. It's a frustrating injury for sure. I only got the injury about a year after I switched to barefoot myself. Of course people in shoes get it as well, so I don't think it's necessarily related to footwear or lack of it. It's generally believed to be an overuse injury made worse by weak hips. Anyway, I hope you heal quickly.

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  3. Hawkbilly Barefooters

    Member Since:
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    At the risk of jinxing myself....things have been steadily improving. The exercises I'm doing are helping. For the first time ever, I completed a full 5K loop on chip-seal barefoot the entire way. Only very minor tightness in my right knee and hip. Felt great after the run and this morning....other than a little skin tenderness on the soles of my feet. I'll continue with the exercises and run no further than the 5k for a couple more weeks to make sure my body gets fully adapted to that distance, then I might start slowly adding distance. 10K runs are perfect for me, as they give me enough time on the road to clear my mind. 5K's are too short....kind of feels like I'm not getting a proper workout in.....but I'm not risking adding the distance until I'm ready. Patience Chris, patience.
    jldeleon likes this.
  4. jldeleon Chapter Presidents
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    Yes...patience. It's so annoying to utilize:) , but worth it.

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  5. Zetti Barefooters
    1. Michigan

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2012
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    HELP!
    So I have a question for all you ITBS fellows...
    I started feeling IT band pain in my left knee so immediately stopped (like mid run stopped) and went out and got a foam roller, returned to my Yoga exercises, stretching, and core/leg work.

    Does it make any sense that my IT band on my right side could actually be quite a bit tighter than the left when the left is the one giving me pain?? I know that the roller is not a solution to the root of the issue, but I figured that if I was having pain...that IT band would be significantly tighter.
    If someone could un-confuse me I would be eternally grateful!! :D

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  6. rickwhitelaw Barefooters
    1. Utah

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    I don't know if I can help Zetti, but yes to your question. If you are tight on one side it will affect the other. I will roll out both sides even if it is always my left knee that is bothering me.
    I know I look funny when I am running, but I stop and walk, do a few squats and lunges, try to loosen up my hips, and do some mild stretches after running slowly for a while. I haven't posted here for a while, but I think I am on top of my knee pain finally. What type of surfaces are you running on? Not that you can't have good form on pavement, but I believe the road camber was a big part of my problem.

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  7. Zetti Barefooters
    1. Michigan

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    I am running mostly on sidewalks =(
    I love trails but have very few near by. I think I caught this thing quick enough this time around.
    I'm not even feeling pain on stairs. I should be back to running within the week :)
    Just found the tightness issue odd.

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  8. rickwhitelaw Barefooters
    1. Utah

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    Glad you caught it quick. One of my problems last year was registering for races and never letting my knee fully heal. I've got to start upping the mileage for a marathon in the fall, but I think I will do better this time around.

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  9. Zetti Barefooters
    1. Michigan

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    I have a marathon planned for this fall as well....so I'm hoping to bet this, and sustain a strong and flexible hip/core
    I am currently rolling my IT band, gluts, quads, and calves........do you have any tips on rolling that has been effective for you?

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  10. Zetti Barefooters
    1. Michigan

    Member Since:
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    So with my IT band not cooperating lately, I really crave physical activity to maintain some form of aerobic conditioning….not to mention I really still want to do a specific marathon on Sept. 30th. We have a lap pool near our house which I was thinking about using instead of running (I can’t get past 1 or 2 miles without it flaring up).
    Will this still aggravate my IT band? Has anyone done this while overcoming ITBS?
    I posted this in the ITBS society as well, but need an alternative and would appreciate any pointers!

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  11. 7ships Barefooters
    1. Presidents
    2. Wisconsin

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    Ok, so I haven't read through this entire thread but as I was running today I was thinking about posting about this because I've had such struggles with ITBS in the past. The worst was last October in the Chicago marathon where I was reduced to walking at mile 24. I finished running but was tremendously painful. This season I've come up with a method that seems to be working for me so I thought I'd share.

    Rationalle

    1. Everything I've read says that ITBS pain is caused by either exclusively quadriceps muscles, most specifically vastus lateralis tightness, or a combination of Q tightness and weak glutes which allow the knee to drop inward rather than tracking straight forward during the weight bearing part of the running cycle, or just that the relative weakness in the glutes causes excessive tightening in the VL which puts strain on the ITB.

    2. In working on my gait and thinking about form I find that I'm usually focused on shock absorption and knee bending and haven't put much thought into my butt :)

    Method

    What I've started doing is focusing on my behind while I run. I actively engage my glutes and focus less on my knees/quads. This has two effects. The first is that my legs tend to turn out a bit more than they normally do, so my knee is definitely not dropping in. This makes sense as the glutes are external rotators.

    The other is that I push back with my legs more than I have in the past. By slightly tightening my core (abs) I'm able to kick back more effectively and let my legs pull forward more elastically rather than by pulling them forward.

    The big thing here is that my IT bands are loosening up. Since starting training this season they have always been a background worry for me, not quite painful yet, but obviously tightening up and reacting badly and to my training. Now they are letting loose. I've only been doing this for a couple of weeks but it seems to be working (fingers are crossed).

    Has anyone had a similar experience or have something to add?
  12. jldeleon Chapter Presidents
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    It is interesting you mention this. My left IT band gives me grief periodically when I run on the trails. The last week or so, when it did that, I would stop and lightly pull my left lower leg up to my butt and just hold it there and then I would squeeze the heck out of my butt muscle and hamstring muscle. I did this periodically throughout my run. I also did it a few times on my right side, but mainly on my left side. The last couple of times I have ran, I have noticed the exact same thing you have, in that my leg is actually not turning inward like it usually does, and even slightly outward -and as a result my IT band has been less annoyed. Migangelo told me about a BF runner who wrote an article about actively using glutes while barefoot running, maybe he or someone else knows the article I am talking about. I have not read it yet, but it would be interesting to, especially since my glutes (at least the maximus) really does not get used at all while bf running. My medius is probably overtaxed because I do trail running. But they all work together anyway so who knows.

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  13. Zetti Barefooters
    1. Michigan

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    going to try this out once I am confident that this episode has passed.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  14. rickwhitelaw Barefooters
    1. Utah

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    Sorry Zetti, I haven't checked in in a while. I am not very good at rolling. I know I need to spend more time doing it, but I am just so impatient. I have a good idea that my hips are contributing to my problem, so I will try to work out the tight spots by sitting on a hard ball.

    It is hard to stop all physical activity, but after my bad episode in Feb., I took about 2 weeks off of everything and then slowed started to add some walking and cross country skiing and hiking. I tried to bike about 1 week after and that hurt the knee.

    The last couple of posts are very interesting. I know from race photos that my right foot flares out a little. My left foot tracks straight, but it is usually my left knee that has problems. I am starting to wonder about how wide your feet should be apart and if widening the stance might help.

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  15. jldeleon Chapter Presidents
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    Ahhhh, so I tried to engage my glutes when I ran yesterday (8 miles trail) and I noticed that my right butt muscle would not engage at all (my good side) but my left butt muscle REALLY engaged, and was obviously super weak, probably about twice as weak as my right (my left side is my bad side). So I ran consciously engaging in the whole time and after the run, I had ZERO ITBS aggravation on my left side. My entire hip area felt great! Usually it's all annoyed. And my left foot was noticeably facing forward, or slightly outward, the whole time. Usually it's flopping back and forth like a dead fish. THIS is exciting to discover!

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  16. 7ships Barefooters
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    Hey Jen,
    So glad to hear that! It's been working for me. I did a 16 mile yesterday and I only had trouble keeping it up as I started getting dehydrated toward the end but other than that my legs feel so much better.

    Keep it up and keep me posted.
    Johnny
  17. Zetti Barefooters
    1. Michigan

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    I've been off for three weeks now so I think I might get back at it and give this a try!

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  18. jldeleon Chapter Presidents
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    I've started doing a few glute exercises every day, as well to see if that helps even more.

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  19. Zetti Barefooters
    1. Michigan

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    care to share?

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  20. ElyDave Barefooters

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2011
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    I've been having a bit of knee trouble myself, which I have improved a bit with typical ITB stretches/strengthening work as I thought in my case there was also a bit of ITBS going on. A sport injury/rehab specialist has told me that it is likely to be rectus femoris related as well so I'm off to check that out now (including the spelling)

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