Frankly, I think ITBS (Iliotibial Band Syndrome) is aptly acronym’d: dealing with the IT is total BS. But, I am happy – though cautiously hesitant – to report that I seem to FINALLY be kicking my stupid bout with IT BS in the butt!
Here’s what’s gone into what I think of as “reprogramming” my IT Band…
~ Dumping the orthopedist in favor of a chiropractor. The ortho just wasn’t that into my injury, if you will; he pretty much told me to keep up with the physical therapy exercises I’d been doing, ice it when it hurt, and maybe just accept that my body can’t do long distances. I’d never before seen a chiro, but a good friend has seen a total reversal in her major neck problems form chiropractic care and I was running out of other options, so I looked up chiros covered by my insurance, picked one and hoped for the best. I got very lucky – my pick happens to be a runner, is married to a triathlete, and treats a number of runners and dancers. SCORE! From the first visit, Dr. Miracle showed great understanding of the problem, my time-frame for recovery, and how important it is to me to beat this. Over the past month, she’s seen me weekly and has used targeted massage, electro-therapy, spinal and hip adjustments and active resistance maneuvers to speed healing, reduce inflammation and get things back in alignment. I was enormously skeptical, but I can’t express how pleased I am with what she’s accomplished!
~ Switching shoes. That’s right – Cindylocks STILL had it wrong. As I thought long and hard about possible triggers for ITBS, it occurred to me that it wasn’t getting any better in high-drop stability shoes… whereas I’d seen some improvement pre-Tower of Terror 10-Miler in more minimalist, low-drop neutral shoes. So I tried the Brooks PureFlow again, this time a half-size smaller, and feel like they’re a much better fit for my mid-foot running style.
~ Not making stretching into a competitive sport. If it hurts, it’s too much, ‘Nuff said.
~ Changing my status to “in a relationship”… with my foam roller. With apologies to Peter, Paul & Mary - If I had a foam roller I'd foam roll in the morning, I'd foam roll in the evening, all over this land… I foam roll my IT Band area. I foam roll my glutes. I foam roll my quads. I don’t foam roll my calves – I use a wooden rolling pin for that. I foam roll in the morning, after a hot shower. I foam roll before running. I foam roll after running. My foam roller’s gotten more action in two months than I’ve seen in 10 years. Is it helping? Who knows. It’s not hurting, and things are improving, so I’ll keep rolling with it.
I returned to running once all pain and inflammation had gone away. Thanksgiving morning, at Walt Disney World, Leo and I went for a good long walk, taking the nature path from the Wilderness Lodge to Fort Wilderness, circling around the Fort, then returning to the Lodge – a total of 2.33 miles. I mostly walked, but ran a little… with no pain for the first time since August. From there, I’ve slowly but steadily built up my mileage to a 5-mile long run last weekend. I’m aiming for 6 miles tomorrow. I’m doing two short runs and one short walk mid-week with a long run on Saturdays. I’m still walking a lot more of each “run” than I’d like, but I’m being very careful not to push for too much too soon. I may not be able to run nearly as much of the Princess Half-Marathon as I’d once thought I would, but I’m starting to feel like I can, indeed, finish.