Hi. Everyone was so helpful when I asked my question about my ITB injury, I'm hoping someone can answer this for me.
I followed the group's advice and broke down and made an appointment with a PT group in my area that specializes in running and running injuries. I am going on Friday and they are going to perform a complete gait analysis to help address the causes of my injury as well as help me heal. I'll let you know how that goes, but here is my question:
Does anyone have any experience with products like Cho Pat or similar knee support products? Do these things really work? Are they injury specific in terms of the various design of these products? I am sure the PT is going to have information on this, but I want to get an unbiased opinion.
I have been running for so many years injury free- I am sure I sound like an idiot but I have no clue about these products. I see people at races wearing them, but I've never really asked.
Traxee, these devices work well for some people but think of them as being primarily a symptom-treatment and not a way to deal with the underlying cause of the symptom. For example - the ITB issues are often related to muscle weakness in your hips -- wearing a strap around your knee won't fix the weakness in your hips but it may possibly provide some temporary relief of your knee pain if the tissue responds well to the traction and pressure the brace provides. Go see your PT - get a full understanding of WHY you're injured and deal with those underlying causes. Any brace you use should be a short-term solution to provide a little symptom relief. Get to the roots of the problem.
Traxee, I did use one of these years ago due to a constant niggling knee pain, however, I found they simply gave me calf cramps. Personally they appear to have no more than a placebo affect. I found by strengthening my knee the pain went away. I recommend leg extensions/ hamstring curls/ calf raises with lots of stretching to help strengthen the entire knee area. These helped me. Things I would avoid are any type of squats unless you can perform them perfectly.
Unfortunately there is no easy answer to your question. They work for some people but not for others. The key to healing an ITB injury is taking time off (different amount of time required depending on the severity) and the key to preventing future ITB injuries is proper stretching and warm-ups. My buddy John has dealt with ITB problems and wrote about his method for ITB rehabilitation. Your PT will probably have seen this injury a lot but ultimately you have to listen to your own body. Good luck with the recovery.