Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Physi ouch

A trip to the Physio on Monday evening did not necessarily tell me anything new (Ewen's advice came later). As my IT band only becomes tender after an hour or so on the road there was no inflammation to inspect or tenderness to reveal just a tightness in my left IT band above the side of the knee (not where the pain was felt). She explained that the tightness could occur anywhere between the hip and the knee and still cause friction at the side of the knee as the whole band is pulled tight over the side of the knee (my words - but she said something like that). She gave the tender area a good going over so much so that sitting here 24 hours later it is still sore to the touch (as if I banged the side of my leg against a hard surface - is that normal?). She did give me a good stretching exercise (it so difficult to stretch the IT band at the right spot as the fleshy part towards the hip, which is not tight, is the first section to get stretched). Heat, stretching and some strengthening exercises are the order of the day. While she did not discourage running I agreed to take a few days off and return on Friday evening. Before that I will attempt a medium long run (probably Thursday morning) to see if I have any chance of running on Sunday. If I last 13 to 15 miles i'll give it a go - if pain comes i'll give it a miss.


  1. Grellan, I had ITBS on my left knee for a long time as well and the pain you talk about is quite normal. She is basically 'crushing' the ITB between her thumbs and the bone so that no knots form in it. A bit of ultrasound and electro therapy on it will help it clear up faster. I went to a guy who sorted me out and if you want the details just contact me. I ran ballycotton 10 2 years ago with a tight ITB - it just means that you are running with the feeling of a knife sticking out of the knee joint and that you can't walk properly for about a week - otherwise no longterm problems. My advice would be to decide what your ultimate goal is (Cork?) and work to be in good condition for that. good luck otherwise.

  2. Oh yea, one other thing, I discovered that my ITB problems were linked to tight hip muscles and a few specialist stretches of the hips were the real long term solution. Also, As Tim Noakes says in the Lore of Running - if in doubt, rest. You'll turn a grade 2 injury in to a grade 4 and rule yourself out of running for months (which I did last year for May, June and part of July).

  3. Can you share what the ITB stretching exercise is? I know these stretches can be a pig to explain, but I'm curious all the same.

    Alternatively, you can show me in Glengarriff, where I expect you to turn up, really.

  4. Hi Grellan

    I routinely stretch the ITBs on both sides as they do get tight. The best thing I have found it to lie on my back and then take one leg and cross it over the other straight leg perpendicular to the straight leg. Hope that makes sense and if not, there are some great diagrams in Runner's World periodically.

    Best of luck.

  5. I use Bill's stretch, another one where you lie on you back and pull the left knee towards the right chest and then the same on the right hand side (stretches the piriformis and the top of the glutes). Another one is to stand up and lean your whole lower body to one side through the pelvis (like leaning at a bar counter) so all the load is through one leg and the tilt should stretch the outside of that leg (ITB). Any google images search should throw up a good picture of this. You know you're doing it properly when you can feel it.