Tuesday, July 3, 2012

June in Review and an update on my ITBS

It's been a hot summer here and nearly everywhere and that is made a slight impact on my June running.   I had many more crappy runs than I am used to and I have a feeling it is because of me not slowing down for heat.  I hate seeing slow miles and try to push it only to end up feeling light headed and pukey. 

The beginning of the month I was also suffering from IT band issues still.   I felt like they were never going to go away since I had been dealing with ITBS for over 2 months at that point.   Miraculously at some point my ITBS just stopped happening.  I noticed it first at the Bellin 10k.   I had no pain and normally it hits on or before 6 miles and I didn't feel it at all during that run.  This gave me the courage to be ballsy and take on some longer runs so I did an eight mile run without any pain and then a nine mile run and then all the way up to a ten miler last week.   During all of these I didn't even have the smallest amount of pain.  Anyone who has suffered from ITBS knows that this is simply glorious. 

For anyone that suffers from ITBS here is what I did.   You can take it or leave it but I was always looking for things to try to fix it so here we go:

I started with my chiropractor.   He assessed me and determined that it was ITBS.   He started me on Electra-Stimulation.  We did this for a few weeks.   During this time they were also using Kinesio Tape on my leg.   Neither seemed to do much. 

I saw a physical therapist at my Chiropractors office.  She assessed my muscle strengths and weaknesses and came up with some exercises that could help.  

My chiropractor moved on to doing ultrasound therapy on my leg.  At first it didn't seem to help.  He changed the settings and we continued with the ultrasound therapy.   After doing this for a few weeks, I asked about Graston Technique.   As luck would have it, he was being trained in Graston Technique that weekend so he had me come in early the next week to give it a try.   I didn't feel like it made a difference in my ITBS after so the next time I went in, I had him go back to the ultrasound therapy. 

During all of this I had also been foam rolling.   It hurt a lot to do and then I bought "The Stick" and I sort of fell in love with that.   So much easier and can put more pressure on one spot easier. 

My Chiropractor continued doing ultrasound therapy 1 to 2 times a week.   I started noticing that I was able to run longer before my ITBS would affect me and at this point it is now gone. 

Other tidbits:

I over pronate.   More so in my left leg than my right leg.   My left leg is the leg that is affected by the ITBS.  I have lazy gluts.  I have been working on strengthening them.  
I have weak hips.   I have been working on strengthening them as well. 
I have crazy strong hamstrings.   They have probably been compensating for my other weak muscles. 
The ITBS straps did nothing but irritate the heck out of me. 
I tried inserts but they seemed to give me too much support.  
I am much more conscious of my stride while running.   I try to keep it in check but with how much runs have been going lately, I'm more so working on one foot in front of the other  (aka don't stop running you lazy ass!)  

In the end, I'm not positive of what helped me out.  I do think the ultrasound therapy had something to do with it.  I also wonder if the hot weather helps.  I read something somewhere that said that the warmth could help. 

Here is my mileage for June 2012:

69.55 miles ran

That is my lowest mileage month since February (keep in mind only by a couple of miles).    I am in no way on track to get over 1000 miles this year.   One fun fact though is that I am officially past how many miles I ran last year!  

For those suffering from ITBS.   It's a pain in the ass (not literally).   I hate ITBS because there is no light at the end of the tunnel and not a lot anyone can do that will for sure help it out.  Keep your head up...and in my case, keep running.   I never stopped running and that was one of the reasons I love my chiropractor.   He never told me to stop running.   He in many ways encouraged it.  Of course I couldn't keep up the high mile runs like I would have loved, but I kept pushing it.   If I had a bad day with ITBS, I took it easy for a while.   I noted hilly routes and windy days made it much worse so I avoided those the best I could.   Will I get ITBS again?  There's a good chance.  At least when/if it happens again, I will know what seemed to work out for me and there wont be so much mystery behind it as before. 


  1. I am so glad your IT seems to be calm as of late and that you can get in some great miles. i definitely notice a difference with the heat as well. last week i was running so strong and then around 8am...bam. the sun is out and i suddenly feel like i cant go any further. its crazy! i am obsessed with my foam roller and the stick to keep my IT happy as well:) hope July is great for you!

  2. I am sorry you have been dealing with ITBS! I have some stretches that i got from a chiropractor when i was struggling with it. I had been stretching totally wrong because those pictures are never informative enough. (apparently, most of us stretch wrong....)

    Hot weather has helped me immensely too - i haven't felt so much as a twinge since it started being 80 degrees back in March....

  3. I've heard several good things about the stick so maybe I need to get one for Allan and I. I don't know much at all about ITBS or the treatment for it so I feel like I learned a lot from this post. Glad you've been pain free lately! I hope that keeps up. 70 miles for the month is impressive!