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Back in February I started running and got a little too overzealous: I did too much too fast in lousy shoes and ended up with an aching pain on the outside of my right knee. I didn't run for a while and the pain went away, but since then every time I run it acts up again within a mile or so.
I did some research and all of my symptoms matched iliotibial band syndrome. Just to be sure, last month I finally went to a physical therapist (I'm a graduate student, so it's just a matter of making an appointment and walking across campus) and they gave me some strengthening exercises to do. Unfortunately, doing these exercises has made things worse, not better! instead of only having pain when I run, now my knee acts up after doing these exercises, after sitting in one position too long, sometimes when riding my bike, etc. It's frustrating! On a follow-up with the PT she also noticed that my arches fall when I stand, so she prescribed orthotics (again, hooray for student health insurance, which covered all but $5!). I just picked up the orthotics today, so we'll see if they help, but I am concerned about how slow my knee is to heal. The pain is generally pretty minor, but it doesn't go away very quickly, and when I try things that are supposed to make it better, it gets worse! I'm tempted to just return to my sedentary graduate student lifestyle and hold off on doing all these exercises until I'm back to where I was before going to physical therapy. At least then I could trust my knees for day-to-day stuff.
Has anyone else here had trouble with very slow recovery from IT band injury? Any words of wisdom?
I wish I had some positive advice, but I've been dealing with IT band for going on three months now.
Mine also got worse when I started the PT exercises. I didn't run for two months. I went to a massage therapist twice a week, plus Graston's/ART from the PT. Finally after two months I was allowed to run/walk. I had one week pain free and then I attempted a three mile run and now it is back again. Mine is caused by a weak hip that is putting stress on the IT band. After two months of exercises it's still not strong enough for running. You need to figure out the root of the problem (not just heal the IT band) and unfortunately the body takes a long time to heal.
I also have flat arches. Although I'm not sure how I feel about barefoot running, I know that barefoot walking has helped strengthen my feet. Basically when I am home I have no shoes on. I do housework, yardwork, ect. with no shoes on. I also do my PT exercises and go to strength training class without shoes on. I don't really trust orthotics. Also, don't wear flip flops! My feet are so much better since throwing those away.
I would suggest if other activities bother your knee try some strength training with weights or bands. I was feeling the same way as you (wanting to give up and go back to the couch) but I'm not ready to throw in the towel just yet!
Thanks for your reply, jeljohns, it sounds like we're in about the same situation with collapsing arches/flat feet and weak hips. I'm not planning on giving up, but for now I think I need to stop the PT exercises and let whatever irritation they have caused go away. I'm also a little skeptical of orthotics, but I'm willing to give them a shot for now if there's a chance that they'll fix my gait and allow my knee to heal.
Haven't tried the foam roller yet. My PT said that it doesn't really do much other than feel painful while you're doing it. The root causes of IT band problems are in the hip muscles and biomechanics of the foot and leg, so that's what we've been focused on. That said, so far nothing has helped, so as long as the roller doesn't make the condition worse it may be worth a try...
In my case it was so bad I had knots of scar tissue along the IT band. My PT said the foam roller wouldn't help because it just rolls on top of the scars. I had to have multiple Graston's treatments to break up the tissue. Hurts like heck, but my band felt much better after the swelling and bruising went away.
For PT exercises I don't have anything that irritates my knee. I mostly do hip exercises like the clam shell on the floor. After two months my PT graduated me to one legged squats, but I have to hold on to the wall to assist my hip. I also do a lot of core work, because my ab muscles are pretty lazy two. After two months of ab work they are just now getting slightly stronger. I'm not how your body is, but mine seems VERY resistant to change, which is frustrating!
I had hip pain so bad that some times I had to stop for a two or three minutes untill the pain went away. This lasted for about a year not three days or a week like it says on most web pages. What I think that really helped me was the foam roller, it hurt like crazy at first but just took some time and frustration because I could not run. Also check your running shoes, they may have to much cushion. That was another problem that I was told at a running shoe store. Hope this web page helps.
No I did not, but you can try going to yahoo and type iliotibial band friction syndrome. Thats how I found that page, don't know why it wont work when I try to open it from this community page.
I give a completely different advice, I have been posting about my journey to heal after a horrific bicycle accident. It included left foot (neuroma and dislocated toe), MAMBO knee smash into the concrete right where the IT band attaches and of course the shoulder, a/c joint.....oh what fun its been......even a long period where I was calling the suicide hot line.............nice.
I tried everything to heal my beaten up IT band, I will wager it was the worst case of any on this site...............and you know what has cured it to the point I do fairly heave squats with weights now? PROLOTHERAPY..............I am not a salesman..........I am in the economically deprived architecture field, all I gain from telling you about it is maybe better karma, which I need desperately, I must of been a bad guy last lifetime...........
I don't think I'm to the point where I need prolotherapy... My case is probably quite mild compared to many, it just is very slow to go away. I went to a doctor last week (needed a doctor's note to continue going to physical therapy) and he suggested ibuprofen and ice 3 times a day for a week to get rid of any inflammation that might be causing me to re-injure whenever I try to do the PT exercises. After a week of that, I'm cautiously thinking that my IT band is starting to feel good enough to resume the PT exercises, but am going to take it very very slowly.
Hopefully patience and caution will work...
New evidence shows that ice and anti-inflammatories give away your body's ability to heal itself in which inflammation is the key to that healing...............this is the basis of prolo but I will not persist