How I resolved my IT band / runner’s knee issues, or: “Come easy, go easy, all right until the rising sun”…

Hello again! Good to see ya!

OK so when we last met, I detailed the issues I was having with my Illiotibial Band. Specifically how this dreaded affliction of inflamed tissue running down my left side was causing enough knee pain to sideline me from running for the short-term, possibly longer. How Dr. Dad gave me an earful and a half, and how worried I was that I might not be able to train enough for my March events, which includes Tough Mudder and a marathon in Washington DC.

Well… two days ago, I ran six miles with no pain whatsoever. And I owe it all to this guy:


That’s right: Lou Diamond Phillips in La Bamba. Wasn’t that a great movie? I’m so glad they didn’t show the plane crash, like they did in that Patsy Cline flick starring Sister Jude. What was up with THAT? One moment they’re all in the plane, the next moment AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRHHHHHH!!!!! and **BOOM**, one Cessna Skyhawk gets facepalmed by a mountain in full explosivey detail. What an odd scene for a biopic. Audacious move by the filmmakers, though.

OK but for real, now that we’ve got my usual non sequitur nonsense out of the way, I really owe it to this guy:

I was doing some research and came upon his set of stretches on YouTube. I started doing them twice a day, starting last Tuesday. By Thursday, I was able to do three miles on a treadmill with no issues. By Saturday, I finished six on the street. Piece of cake.

Bear in mind, I’ve been stretching ever since I took up running as a hobby lifestyle fitness regimen unholy obsession, and developed a routine that kept me mostly injury free for the past two years. But it’s like everything else in life, if you don’t learn to adapt and evolve, you’re gonna end up with your shoe in the melon. My mom made up that analogy years ago. It makes so much sense to me. Anyway, I changed my routine accordingly. I’m doing the new stretches, both legs, before each and every run (or any exercise involving the lower body). Afterward, I do my regular routine.

compwrapAlso, I bought me one of these: a Pro-Tec IT Band Compression Wrap. It was recommended by many who suffered through the same issue, and I’m pretty sure it’s helping as much as the stretches are. I was concerned that the tightness and the Velcro were going to prove annoying, uncomfortable, chafing, etc. while I ran, but that wasn’t the case at all. It basically stabilizes the IT band so it won’t yank on your knee as you run. Seems to be doing its job, I’d say. And no, those aren’t my gams. That’s a pic for another day, I reckon.

So there you have it. In all seriousness, those stretches really did me wonders, and if you’re dealing with painful knee issues, and you’re too cheap to consult a fully qualified orthopedic surgeon, give them a whirl. I have to send that guy a fruit-basket or something. Here’s the video:

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