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Hey, I'm right there with you on the ITBS issue. This IT band strap from Amazon was an instant improvement. It's a band-aid to the real problem, weak hips, but at least I can run! Good luck!
Wearing an IT band strap helped me ease back into it. It didn't solve the problem completely or make stretching unnecessary, but it did get me running again. It also created a really cool tan line when I wore it for my marathon.
Other things I tried were foam rolling, which I think helped a bit, and a sports massage, which I'm pretty sure made things worse.
Pro-Tec Athletics Iliotibial Band Compression Wrap (Small-Large/Black) [link]
It’s not something you want to run in all the time - but for me makes the difference between limping to the car and slowly jogging when the flare up happens.
Its about 6 months i have this issues, i haven't been on top of the exercises or done much foam rolling but when i run or hike i wear this:
I also wore it when i hiked the colorado trial last month it was great with downhill sections, also the trekking poles helped a lot. But i didn't have excruciating pain and there was no discomfort that followed the day after. Just some soreness, which is miles away from the pain that the It band gives.
Also when going downhill try landing on the forefront of your foot rather than impacting with your heel, it will help a lot.
If the pain is on the outside of the knee where the ligament running up your leg meets the bone and you feel sharp pain when bending the knee, it is likely ITBS. Might want to try a compression wrap like this.
I did a lot of the same things you are doing and none of them worked. In the end, what worked for me is an IT Band strap just like this:
That thing is a miracle. I understand how it works, I just can't believe it does. If you haven't tried it, please do. It doesn't cost much to find out.
I wore it for about two months, so it wasn't an immediate solution. It took some time for the pain to go away. Eventually I was able to run 10 miles while wearing it. Then I'd take it off as I was getting close to the end of my run. Each day I'd take it off a little earlier, until I was taking it off with 5 miles to go. Then I knew it had really worked.
Currently I am back to running 50-60 miles a week without pain (and without the strap anymore). I never foam roll anymore, I never stretch. I never do any leg exercises at all. I run and that's it. I want to stress that I never do ANY of the stuff people point to as helping your IT band, and I'm not suffering for it. I really think the reason this problem happened is because I tried to do too much too fast, not because of any muscle weakness or anything like that.
In total the whole ordeal lasted 4 months and it was very frustrating. At times I felt I would never get over it. I hope you have the same luck.
I had terrible IT Band Syndrome (aka runner's) knee from distance running for over two years. Mine turned out to be from week hips. I started using the good girl/bad girl machine at the gym to strengthen my hip adductors and hip abductors. I also started wearing a IT band compression wrap [link].
I also ordered this band from Amazon to go above my knee Pro-Tec Athletics Iliotibial Band... [link].
Good luck! I hope you heal quickly and crush your first marathon!
I had IT band issues when I first started running bc I didn't know about the 10% rule... I started wearing an ITB strap and the pain went away, however it would stay if I would take off the strap while running. I then took 1-2 weeks completely off from running and replaced it with swimming. Viola, pain went away. I highly recommend you take a week off, then try running with the strap and see how it feels. Continue to do hip strengthening workouts as well as squats/deadlifts.
IT Band Syndrome, it sucks, as does foam rolling that a physio will suggest. I still foam roll occasionally, but I also use this IT Band strap when I start getting pain again
I also do this 6 minute stretch routine that helps too [link]
The symptoms you describe sound exactly like when I dealt with IT Band syndrome. I would take months off at a time to rest my knee, but on my first run of no longer than a mile I could feel the pain return. I could stretch and foam roll forever, but that only seemed to treat the symptoms and not the underlying problem. I finally set out to address the real issue and for me at least I had weak hips muscles and very tight hip flexors.
Your IT band runs from your hip down the outside of you leg and knee to your foot. When my hips were weak and tight it would cause my IT band to tighten up, inflame, and scrap against the outside of my knee causing a lot of pain. I finally started doing strength exercising for my hip muscles along with stretching and I was back to running again in a few weeks. This was about 3 years ago and I've been running fine since. I still work on hip exercises a few times a week. This site has a pretty good explanation. [link]
You could also look into a IT band strap to run with. I still use these on longer runs. Something like this: [link]
and yes, This is the one I bought. It had great reviews but it didn't do anything for me.