Posted by: Kevin | 2008/07/23

Recurring ITB injury

I am a 27 year old male, have been road running for a year now, sticking to 10km and 15 km road races. About 2 months ago i picked up an ITB injury on my left leg, went for physio and rested, started to train lightly and ran a slow relaxed 10km race and ended up waling the last 8km! took a 5week rest before attemnpting any running, trained on grass, bought new shoes, went to physio and did all the stretches. Ran a 15km race over the weekend, took it carefully and slowly all was going well until 10km and my itb went again, I am very frustrated. I am planning to see a biokineticist soon. any other advice?

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Our expert says:
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HI Kevin

These ITB injuries are tricky!

I am not sure exactly what the physio has done to date, perhaps some stretching? I think the problem here is clearly that having rested, you're coming back into running and have not sorted out the root cause of the problem. It's difficult to say what that cause might be, but it's usually a strength problem (of the glute muscles) or a flexibility problem (in many possible areas, including quads, and even tight calves could cause this). So perhaps you haven't covered all those basis in your rehab?

If so, then a biokineticist would be a good person to see, and you might consider it. Also, bear in mind that coming back from an injury is a tough call, and to go straight in at 10km or 15 km is very difficult. The hardest thing in the world is holding yourself back when you start out - you need to take 'baby steps'. For example, in that first week of coming back, you should probably not run more than about 4 or 5 km at a time. 30 min, maximum. Then in week 2, up to 35 min, and so on. It's going to feel like a waste of time, but until you can gradually adapt the body, the injury will just keep recurring.

So be patient, rather sacrifice 4 or 5 weeks of "lame" traning now than have to go through cycles of injury, rehab and rest.

Good luck

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