I’ve been asked a few times what I’ve been doing to keep my ITB pain at bay, and I’m happy to elaborate! (ps. if you ever have any questions, never hesitate to ask! my contact info is listed in the “contact” section above)
When my ITB pain first started, I immediately saw a physical therapist. He would stretch it out and use an ultrasound machine to increase blood flow to the site. He also recommended I go on ibuprofen for 2 weeks to reduce the inflammation. He showed me 3 super easy, quick techniques to strengthen my hips/gluts at home, which I try to do every night before going to bed. I have no idea what they’re technically called, but this is what I call them:
- Flat-Back Leg Extensions: Laying with your back on the ground, arms straight parallel along your side, legs up and knees bent at a 90* angle, focus on pulling your belly button to the ground (keeping your back as flat as possible). While focusing to keep your back flat and on the ground, slowly extend one leg out to full extension while keeping the other stabilized at the 90* angle. Alternate. I do a total of 50.
- Hip Raises: Laying on back, knees bent, feet flat on ground, tie an elastic stretchy band around your knees. While keeping your knees a foot apart (resisting the stretchy band), lift hips off the ground until shoulders/hips/knees are aligned (your body will be at a diagonal to the ground). Keep knees apart and repeat slowly. I do a total of 50.
- Sideways leg raises: Laying on your side, with your hips perpendicular to the floor (easiest done if you’re laying on your side flat against a wall), raise your upper leg (about 3 feet). Make sure to keep hips in a straight line (don’t lean forward/backwards) as you slowly lift and lower your leg. I do a total of 50. Flip to do other side.
These drills usually only take me 5 minutes. It’s odd, if I slack on doing these drills for a few days, I can notice my knee getting achy again. So I try to make sure to do the drills every day so I don’t have to worry about it. I also wear my favorite Zensah Knee Sleeve to bed every night too.
One last thing that’s REALLY helping keep my ITB pain at bay is my orthotics. I haven’t forked over the hundreds to get custom-made ones yet, but my physical therapist studied my feet and foot placement, then made me some modifiable orthotics from these moldable ones he has at the office. I can definitely notice a difference when I run with vs. without them.
So yeah! That’s what I’ve been doing for the past few months to keep the ITB pain at bay. Physical therapy, at-home strengthening drills, and orthotics… knock on wood, but I’m optimistic that these will help get me to Boston in one piece (ps. I finally booked my flight, which makes it feel real, I’m going to Boston in April!)