Tuesday, November 29, 2005

IT Band Wrap

I went shopping for a wrap. I don't know if it will help but desperate times call for desperate measures. I went to cho-pat.com and bought a Illiotibial Band Strap. Sadly for me, according to the website, one of the causes of this pain is "bowed" legs. Well, I got 'em, so I wonder what this means for the future. Will my bands eventually adjust and get stronger? Or will I be relegated to this type of pain for ever? I wonder why it is a problem on my right leg and not on the left? Why? Why? Why? I hope I bought the right size. If it comes in time for this weekend's run, I will attempt the long distance again.

3 comments:

Cassie (TIGGS) said...

I'm the self proclaimed resident HRB ITB professional.

The strap you bought is okay. It might help mask some of the pain. I used it for some time until I got the Pro-Tec® IT Band Compression Wrap. The Pro Tec is much better. You can order it from roadrunnersports.com. I would recommend using the Cho Pat first. IF it works, then I would get the Pro Tec. You can control it much better and it lays flatter and more comfortably on your leg. For longer distances this will mean a lot.

However- notice I said it will "mask" the pain. That is all the strap does. It does not coreect the underlying issue. Until you fix the problem, the strap will hide the pain a bit, but it will always still be there.

"According to the website, one of the causes of this pain is "bowed" legs"- true. However any sports med doc will tell you that 99.9% of ITBS is caused by tight hip adductors and weak gluteal muscles, particuarly the glute medius.

"Will my bands eventually adjust and get stronger?"- No. Your IT bands will NEVER get stronger. You can't treat it that way. The way to fix it is to strengthen the weak glute muscles and correct any muscle imbalances while rolling your IT band on a foam roller and with The Stick (also available on rrsports.com and highly recommended) to stretch and lengthen the IT. Stretching the hammies and quads is essential too. I'm talking at least 30 minutes of good stretching every single day.

"I wonder why it is a problem on my right leg and not on the left?"- you have a muscle imbalance. The left glute is weaker so when it gets tired it shuts down and your right glute/hip does all the work- its like running using only one leg- and your right IT gets inflamed. I have the extact same problem. I let it get worse and eventually both legs got it.

Seriously Holden- any questions, just shoot me an email or call. I've got a ton of info and I can tell you all the exercises and rolling you need to do. It will fix it, but you have to be super dedicated to doing all the stuff you are supposed to do. It sucks! First and foremost you need to get a roller and use it every single day. And every day that you run you need to ice for 15 minutes.

Anonymous said...

What kind of cross training would you recommend to help fix the root of this problem? Biking?

Holden said...

Anon,

I eventually overcame this problem by strengthening the glutes. I did a lot of lunges. Nowadays, this is not a problem anymore.