Oklahoma Running Mom

Running in Oklahoma adds new meaning to the phrase "Hot Mama."

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Iliotibial Band

A common injury among runners is inflammation of the iliotibial band, otherwise known as the IT band, in the knee. The IT band is a group of tough fibers on the outside of the knee that is attached to a thin muscle that runs all the way up the outside of the thigh, originating in the hip area. The IT band inserts or connects just below the knee. The injury to the IT band occurs when it becomes inflamed due to overuse, usually caused by increasing your mileage too soon. It feels like something is rubbing hard directly on your bone when you take a step and it HURTS!

When training for a long race or for a distance you've never ran before, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to build up to the distance. Some people never have a problem with their IT bands, while others are restricted to shorter distances because of it. I've had a lot of problems with mine in past, but as long as I don't rush into more than a couple miles I'm fine. Even if my lungs and the rest of my body can handle longer, I have to keep myself in check when I start running again (as in after a break from running or after having a baby) to make sure I don't shock my IT bands and make them irritated. It also really helps to have good shoes (without too many miles on them), to run on level surfaces, and to stretch before and after running. Here's a few good stretches:(This last one is a great stretch, but I picked this picture because I thought it was funny...)


Lauren said...

Great post :) I have IT issues too and it's definitely a balance on the training... and listening to your body!

Oklahoma Running Mom said...

Thanks for the info Bek!! I'm glad someone around here knows what they're talking about. :)