IT Band Strain

I am a 22 year old male. I have been active most of my life-playing sports year round. Three years ago, I took up distance running. I ran my first two marathons with no real issue. The summer after my spring marathon, I developed a bad IT band strain and have not been able to rid myself of the injury. My shoes are the same brand and type I have always used. I change them every 300 miles or so. I stretch very well before, during, and after my runs. I do pretty much every IT band stretch available before and after my run. I have been in physical therapy at three different locations over the past year and a half. Two at the University of Michigan's University Health Services and one stint at Medsport with the University of Michigan at Domino Farms. I complied to every doctor's and PT's wishes and followed their programs exactly. I never felt any improvement. As soon as I would try to go for a run, I could feel my IT start to tighten up.

What should I do? I feel like I have done everything possible. I am quite frustrated and just want to be healthy, so that I can run everyday like I used to. Please let me know what you think.


"I feel your pain!" I went through the same thing about 10 years ago, and like you, I found that once the IT Band becomes inflamed, it is very difficult to resolve the issue completely (I though am/have been "running healthy" for a number of years now). I personally took about 2 months off of running completely before "making a slow come back".

If you haven't already done so, I would suggest coming into any Running Fit and having your foot type and gait assessed to make certain that you are in the right type of shoe. Keep stretching and as often as possible massage your IT Bands with ice.

Be sure to strengthen and stretch your quadriceps, hamstrings, core muscles and more as you could be overcompensating due to muscle imbalances. Try incorporating Yoga and/or Pilates into your weekly workouts.

Seeing a sports massage therapist might also help as your hip flexors and/or other muscles might be inordinately tight.

You might also try seeing a chiropractor as problems/symptoms could occur if your "spine is out of whack" which could happen without you really knowing/feeling pain in your back.

Hang in there!

Tracey Cohen
Running Fit Novi

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