Possible ITB band injury

August 9, 2017

My sport of choice is usually running, however I have also recently joined a gym (having not been attending the gym for circa 1.5 years). I used to do a lot of strength training combined with running (as my previous running injuries identified I had weak glutes). At the gym, I was running on the treadmill, rowing machine but also strength training using free weights and
the machines (leg press etc). Around 4 weeks ago I started experiencing the pain in my leg, but thought it was maybe a result of using the leg press. I was running in the British 10K (9th July) and had to complete is with a mix of running and walking as the pain was strong. I have  not been able to run since.

The pain is located on my outer lower thigh, around 2 inches above my knee. I am fairly certain it must be my ITB, however the pain is not going away (when I try to run to test it, or if I walk for a long time). I have still been going to the gym, but restricting my exercise to cycling, rowing, strength training with free weights and classes (kettlebells, body pump).

I am not sure what else I can do to help this? I understand that physio does not really work that well to heal an ITB band injury, however it does not seem to be improving. I am meant to be running the Great North Run in September and I am concerned that I may not be able to do it. Would a cortisone injection help the issue?


August 9, 2017

Morning Jacqui
You get 2 rights, and a wrong!

Certainly sounds like an issue with your ITB and a jab would (probably) help with the pain.

You’re also (I guess) right that POOR physio will not help ITB issues, but I’ve helped lots and lots and lots of people with ITB issues get back to full, pain free function.
Let me rewind a little.

ITB issues don’t just happen, they happen because of something and unless that something is identified and treated, the symptoms will persist. This is why poor physiotherapy doesn’t do much as the practitioner concentrates on symptom relief not changing the cause (to banish the symptoms).

I think you’ve got ITB issues because of 1 of 2 things. Either this is simply an overload issue due to too much gym and running – then the answer is relative rest, stop doing what hurts and you’ll be as good as gold for the GNR as you can keep fit by alternative training.

Or most likely this is a little of the above but a lot more of you’ve-lost-control-somewhere-and-need-to-get-it-back type scenario.

Here we go…ITB’s become irritated around your knee because you’ve lost control of the amount your thigh rolls in when you bend and straighten your knee. The control bit is key.
This can happen either at your hip/pelvis (primarily glut control NOT strength) or your foot/ankle (gluts and tib post and running shoe type)
This is where you need to start.

So every time you cycle, row, lunge, squat etc you need to keep a beady eye on what your knee does – it should track over your foot. But there are a myriad of cheats out there such as swaying your body to the opposite side, letter your hip drop down, letting your tummy button point towards your knee (really!) and you need to keep an eye out for these (and more). This is where a decent physio can help…

Have a look around here https://www.sixphysio.com/video/common-injuries/itb-superset

The jab will help settle the pain but if you don’t identify why and do decent rehab it will return. I’ll actually put a little caveat around that saying that if you decent rehab between now and the GNR and still have pain then a jab 24/48 before the run can be a great combo.

The Guru

Guru Responded

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