19 July 2011

Iliotibial Band Syndrome experience

This is my story and experience about ITBS (Iliotibial Band Syndrome experience)

I started running to get fit and reduce my weight. and then I wanted to take a half marathon run but in the end because my stamina and I'm not prepared to run for 20 Km+, I've decided to take a 12 Km run first (2XU Compression Run).

I started to practice once or twice per week. I grew stronger, each time I added 1Km to my run and my goal was to run 12Km before the 2XU Compression run.

My friends said that I trained too much for the 1Km increment considering that i just started running. Which I doubt so at that time.

here is my activity history.
January  2 - 2.69 Km
January  8 - 3.34 Km
January  16- 4.01 Km
January  18- 5.13 Km
January  21- 6.52 Km
January  29- 7.09 Km
February 8 - 2.42 Km

Sometimes after the run, I felt pain either in my left or right knee, not exactly in the knee but more towards the outward (outside) part of my knee. and normally it will recovered back after 1-2 day rest.

the disaster happened when I over train myself at February 2011.

February 16 - 8.08 Km
February 19 - 4.34 Km
February 20 - Soccer game

My knee really wore out after 8Km run, and I forced myself to run another 4Km on the February 19th (running gathering with friends) I didn't know why but I knew that my pain on my knee was getting worse but I still did the run gathering and the soccer game. I guess that my will was greater than what my body can take.

Before the soccer ended, My knee really wore out, I didn't finish the soccer cause it was really hurt on my left knee. and that time I was really afraid ... it this sometimes serious... nah don't worry just 2-3 days it will recover back just like usual that was in my mind.

I've difficulties to walk for 2-3 days. I can't really describe the pain, it's not in the middle of the knee or the joint but it was more on the outer (outside) upper part. I took a rest for 2 weeks and went to a doctor.

the doctor said that my knee wear off. I've said "so what can I do to fix it." she said "nothing you can do, please find another sport such as swimming." she said that "When you do running, slower or later your knee will wear off, it's a high risk sport"

I'n my heart I said it's just doesn't make any sense, I play soccer sometimes and I started just running, is my knee so fragile?

I was really disappointed because my practice went for nothing, all those extra Km that I earned to beat the 12Km run on April, it was for nothing. And I can't run for the whole of my life? that just ridiculous.

I said to myself and my girlfriend, even though it will break my leg I will still go for the 12Km run. it was statement because I have hope and not because out of desperation.

I rested for another week and tried another run on March 24, it went fine until I hit 1Km, I started  to feel the pain again, slowly and I had to stop, walked and ran and do this cycle till I can't took it anymore at the mark of 2.5Km. The funny thing is that the pain on my knee was gone when I stopped running.

so the first symptom of ITBS - Iliotibial Band Syndrome, is that you start to feel the pain only after your run for a while and when you stop and walk .. the pain just gone. in your daily walk you will not feel any pain only after you run for a while the pain is visible.

I started to investigate about sport injury, I know the doctor give me a verdict but I can't accept that. First that no X-ray had been taken and she just do some basic troubleshooting to my knee.

and I started to diagnostic my own knee ... I don't have any medical experience so what I did is that I tried to find which part of my knee having the problem, what was the name of that part so that I can narrow down the injury.

thanks to google image, I manage to point out that the problem was not with my knee joint instead it's a muscle called ilotibial band, the iliotibial band begins at the hip and extends to the outer side of the shin bone (tibia) just below the knee joint.

that exactly where my pain was.

here is the definition and symptoms according to beginnertriathlete.

Iliotibial band syndrome is caused by excessive friction of the distal portion of the iliotibial band as it slides over the outside portion of the knee during repetitive bending, resulting in inflammation in this area. Some studies have identified potential risk factors for the development of iliotibial band syndrome including preexisting iliotibial band tightness; high weekly mileage; time spent walking or running on a track; interval training; and muscular weakness of the knee, hip, or pelvis.

The primary initial complaint in individuals with iliotibial band syndrome is diffuse pain over the outside of the knee. These people frequently are unable to indicate one specific area of tenderness, but they tend to use the palm of the hand to indicate pain over the entire outside aspect of the knee. picture taken from http://www.beginnertriathlete.com

With time and continued activity, the initial discomfort progresses into a more painful, sharp, and localized irritation. Typically, the pain begins after the completion of a run or several minutes into a run or another long-distance activity. However, as the iliotibial band becomes increasingly irritated, the symptoms typically begin earlier in an exercise session and can even occur when the person is at rest. Those injured often note that the pain is aggravated while running down hills, lengthening their stride, or sitting for long periods of time with the knee in a bent position. click here to read more from the website. 

I was thankful for this discovery at least I will still able to run in the future.

next I did some treatment to myself, I'm not an expert on this so it's better to see a specialist for your condition. But this is working for me.

So if you have the same symptoms as me, don't worry it can be healed! and I learnt my lesson well: do not over exercise and listen to your body well.

if your body tell you "it's painful" then stop. anyway pain is there to warn us that something wrong with our body.

what kind of treatment that I did? just click the link for practical treatment and exercise for Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS injury)

How I still managed to run 12km while still suffering ITBS - Iliotibial Band Syndrome. you can go here for the story - tips on running marathon with knee pain injury

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