Saturday, May 8, 2010

Me and my ITB

It's been a week since I stopped running due to a severe case of Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome.  I've been icing, stretching, performing strengthening exercises, using my foam roller and getting treatments by my chiropractor using Active Release Technique. After seven days, I have only a very slight improvement in symptoms.  I still have knee pain when walking down stairs and some days have pain when doing absolutely nothing!  My hopes of a speedy recovery are fading but I'm not ready to completely rule it out. My advice to anyone with symptoms of ITBFS is to get it treated right away and do not wait until it becomes a Grade 4 injury like I did. Stupid me!

Grades of Iliotibial Friction Injuries:

Grade 1
Pain does not occur during normal activity, but generalized pain is felt about 1 to 3 hours after sport-specific training has ended. Tenderness usually resolves within 24 hours without intervention.

Grade 2
Minimal pain is present towards the end of a training run; performance is not affected. Appropriate treatment may be necessary to prevent a grade 3 injury.

Grade 3
Pain is present at an earlier onset of training, and interferes with the speed and duration of a training session. Treatment and training modification are necessary to prevent a grade 3 injury from progressing to a grade 4 injury.

Grade 4
Pain restricts training and is also noticeable during activities of daily living; the athlete can no longer continue sport-specific training. Low-impact training, such as swimming, running in a pool, and biking, can be implemented for cardiovascular fitness and aggressive muscu- loskeletal therapy can reduce the severity of the injury. The goal of therapy is to reduce inflammation and restore strength and flexibility of the hip and thigh musculature, allowing for the athlete to return to pain-free sport-specific training.

Grade 5
Pain interferes with training as well as activities of daily living. Aggressive therapy is required and surgery may be necessary.

I hope week two goes better than the first.


  1. ITB sucks. My wife went through this last year, so far I have been lucky. Good luck with the recovery

  2. Dan, my ITB was 3-4. I had it after Baystate which was good timing as I wanted to take a week off anyway. After a week pain was exactly the same. I think once the band is "damaged" in needs time to heal. For me, that meant 1 week off of running, and than running on trails 3Xweek for 2 more weeks. It will get better. Try to get at least some walks in, if you can. It will get better!

  3. Sorry to read about this Dan. Question for you, is the pain in the back of the leg where the knee is? I have been having problems with that for a while now and can only run 3 miles at a time or it hurts like hell. Even hiking over 3-5 miles makes it hurt like a bugger?

    I hope you injury heals soon as I know you are so looking forward to racing season this year. I will cross my fingers for your speedy recovery!

  4. Have you looked into Graston Technique? It has worked wonders for various injuries I have had.

  5. Sorry you're going through this. I am just now, finally over it after PT, ART, stretching EVERY DAY and 6 months of treatment. The good thing was, I could still run due to stretching and strengthening exercises.
    Truly, this will get better. Hang in there.

  6. Thanks all for the comments, suggestions and get well wishes. I know it will get better; I'm just very impatient when it comes to getting over injuries.

  7. Hope you get better soon Dan. injuries at our age take time to heal.

  8. I thought I was dealing with ITBS (as did my primary care and then a knee sports medicine ortho) and after no progress with all the usual treatments I pressed for an mri. The MRI showed 2 seperate stress fractures. If you have not been scanned, I would encourage it.

  9. Dan, at least you know what you are trying to heal and have a plan. So being another impatient "healer" myself, all I can say is stick with the program; this too will pass and you want to be in a position to resume running for many years hereafter. You've got MANY years of runs and races ahead of you - don't worry, they'll still be there waiting for your return!

  10. Dan,

    I had ITB injury the whole last year. I tryed everything and I changed couple of phisiotherapist until I found a brilliant one who helped me. It's taking time and patience plus you need to find the right person. Good luck with the recovery. Ingrid


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