IT band rehab at home

Ahem, this isn’t going to interest many of you, unless you have had IT band issues before, or unless you enjoy running like I do (never thought those words would come out of my mouth a year ago). But my next few posts are going to be about my current running injury and how I’ve been attempting to heal and rehab myself at home without PT (and the emotional, physical, spiritual connect in the body, because boy have I been discouraged with being unable to move).

If you know me, you can imagine how obsessive I’ve been trying to resolve this issue. I was running about 12-15 miles a week pre-injury. I had been training for my first 1/2. I had done everything right, i thought: stretching before and after, gradual increases in mileage, good shoes, etc.

My right knee started to hurt on the outside about three and a half weeks ago. It was following, as you might remember, some foot pain, which was resolved when I had H1N1 and lay in bed for two weeks. (turned out my foot pain was bruising from my inserts so I’ve since gotten custom inserts). After H1N1 I ran about 4 times, the last two times in LOADS of pain but determined to run through it because I had sat on my butt for weeks and really aspired to make the 1/2 in Feb (i felt I had to catch up in my training).

Lesson #1: don’t rush training. shoot.
That said, I rested my knee for 4 days after the first pain, and it went away. puzzled but thinking I was just weak from H1N1 I went out again two days later, only 2 miles, and hurt. rested a couple days and felt better. So I went out again a few days later and around mile 3, pain. stopped and sulked. then stupidly went for another run a few days later (my last since) on Dec 29 in the morning (and a 1.5 mile slow walk that afternoon chatting with my pop) and that about did me in. I know for certain it is my IT band.
I have been online reading and have been talking to everyone I can. Here’s what I’ve been doing these last two weeks (and I’m going to continue to do it for at least one more).

1. Foam Roller: three times daily for a minimum of 10 minutes. I do my IT bands, my hamstrings, my quads, my gluts. this hurts like H-E-double hockey sticks but it really gives a deep tissue massage right to my IT band.
2. Massage and adjustment with the chiropractor. i’ve been three times in the last two weeks, and am planning to go again this week. My chiropractor has two massage therapists in the office, and so I’ve met with each of those ladies and treated myself to a massage (it sounds delightful, right? HECK NO. I hurt, BAD, and they are trying to rub it out. Think sports massage, not relaxation massage) (but I do think it has helped)!

3. Yoga: lots and lots of Yoga (a little Pilates thrown in). Soul At Home (a place around the corner from me) offers two weeks unlimited classes for $25. If you are rehabing an injury, this is SUCH a great use of your money. I have gone nearly every night last week and will go again this week as much as I can. I am stretching so much, and strengthening too, and it is no impact at all. plus I feel like I’m getting some sort of stress release and toning while I wait this out.
4. ICE: I try to ice 5 times a day for a minimum of 20 minutes. When icing, I’m trying not to only focus on my knee, but on my entire IT band, which stretches from my knee all the way up to my hip, so I’m wearing a LOVELY bunch of berries, corn, and mixed veggies, strapped down by two ace bandages up my entire LONG leg.
5. REST: this is VERY hard (i’ll post more on this later). Today was the first day I have walked around the block (.5 miles) SLLLLOOOOOWLY without pain. YAY!

6. SHOES: no heels, no fancy shoes. ugly running shoes everywhere while I wait this out.
7. Anti-inflamatory. I’m taking a prescription twice daily from the dr.
I’m giving this another week, at least, to heal. I’m restless. I’m frustrated. I’m not going to do the 1/2, which is a bummer, because of course in my heart I wondered if I even had it in me to do it in the first place. What I want is to play volleyball and run and have an active life with my kids for the next many many years. But if I push it, I will sabotage an active lifestyle. So I’ve got to keep my eye fixed on the end result. And I’m trying to stay positive and encouraged.
Tomorrow I will share how guilty I feel for being discouraged about this injury. (trying to not let the Enemy win on that front).


  1. K! sooo sorry to hear about your injury…josh got the same advice from a professional runner who told him not to do the pf changs 1/2 after being out of training for 3.5 weeks because of sickness. he said the same thing you did…the catch up causes more injury and is too risky…we hope and pray you get well quickly! maybe we can meet you for another race in the near future…

  2. Way to be totally proactive about this injury and slowly work through it. I know how bummed and disappointed you are with having to slow down your workouts. Just think, Yoga and Pilates are going to give you these long, lean muscles!

  3. sometimes the chiropractor that perform the treatment have no enough experience and knowledge about the treatment. That is why before you go to a chiropractic clinic try make sure that the clinic has licensed and has the best and well experienced chiropractor practitioner.

    chiropractor louisville

  4. Hi – I noticed its been a couple of years since you posted this. Did you manage to fix your IT band issue? Have you made a full recovery?

    I currently have the same problem (for a couple of months) and I’m trying to work through it using most of the methods you describe. I’m just interested in know your log term outcome.


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