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View Full Version : ITB Syndrome and the 5km run


Pat Janes
10-27-2004, 07:00 PM
After the last 2 5km runs, I've developed pretty severe pain on the outside of my right knee; to the extent that I can't walk properly for the next 2 days.

After a little bit of reading up, it sounded a lot like ITB (ilio-tibial band) syndrome, caused by repetitive friction of the iliotibial band across the knee.

After doing some reading on prevention etc, I did the 5km yesterday, after taking an anti-inflammatory and using a knee support. After the run, I iced my knee and stretched the ITB.

Well... it seems it's worked! I've got a little bit of residual soreness in the same area the day after the run, but I can still walk.

So I'll be continuing to stretch and strengthen my legs; I think some nice deep squats are in order...

Anyone else ever had similar problems?

Mike Yukish
10-27-2004, 07:03 PM
Had ITB problems after my first (and only) marathon. The PT had me do a Piraformus stretch, I think it was called, along with basic strengthening and stretching. No more problems since.

Steve Shafley
10-27-2004, 07:18 PM
An nasty, but effective little trick is to get a piece of PVC, ~3" or so in diameter works well for me and lay on it and massage your ITB. This hurts, but it also helps loosen it up pretty good.

Brian McCarrie
10-28-2004, 08:06 AM
I had it and I know of two stretches for it.

1. Stand upright, cross your left leg over your right and lean to the left. Use a wall or doorway or something to keep your balance as you lean further and further down to the left. You'll feel the stretch in your hip but it is also stretching your IT band down by your knee. The reason you don't feel it down there is because there are less nerve endings down there is what I'm told.

2. Laydown on your left side. Bring your right leg up as high as you can and then lay it down in front of you. Try to keep your leg as straight as possible. The reason you bring your leg up is to get the IT band over your pelvis so you can effectively stretch it.

Both of these stretches have worked for me as well as the ice.

Jason Davis
10-28-2004, 10:45 AM
Pat The IT band usually displays some poping or clicking with the inflamation due to thickening of the overly tight tendon but not always. You can even get some peroneal nerve impingement due to a tight IT band so address this early. You are correct in your treatment, heat....stretch, NSAIDS for pain and then ice after activity. The low squats will not help the siutation and could actually delay healing. IT band syndrome is a overuse process. Therefore more activity will flare up the injury. Stengthening is actually not neccessary, simply increase you range of motion of the IT band and the control the imflamation with NSAIDs and you'll be fine in a few weeks. This is commonly foound in long distant runners and cross country atheltes. Just my two cents.

Pat Janes
10-28-2004, 03:46 PM
Thanks for the replies. I'll continue with the stretching, because that appears to be helping more than anything else.

Now, about 36 hours after the 5km run, I have no remaining pain. Had a little pain yesterday, that was relieved by stretching. That is a huge improvement on my last 2 5km runs.

I'd noticed a lack of flexibility for years in my right knee, but had never been able to figure out why. With a generally good level of flexibility, I've always been unable to get my legs into a lotus position because of my right knee. I've also had problems with a figure-4 stretch in martial arts on the right side. But because it never caused pain, I just left it alone.

Prior to CrossFit, the longest I'd ever run was 200m races in high school, so the ITB has only flared up relatively recently.

And yes Jason, I do get the popping/clicking in my knee; gives my wife the creeps. Cheers for the heads-up on the squats - I'll take it easy, concentrate more on stretching and see how I go.

Jason Davis
10-28-2004, 05:47 PM
Excellent Pat, Seems you caught this early and are headed in the right direction. Ease back into the long endurance type work and you'll do fine.