I havent got a definitive answer I am afraid but some suggestions!
There a few other things you could consider, if you have exhausted all the ITBS treatment (all of which i am sure someone will tell me is wrong, so take them with a pinch of salt! - i am not an expert!)
the first thing is, it could be your thigh muscle itself, not the ITB - check out this webpage on trigger points http://www.triggerpoints.net/triggerpoints/vastus-lasterallis.htm
another thing is, it could be you are hitting the ground hard, consider if you heel strike or forefoot strike, you might like to consider a change to a more forefoot strike as in a barefoot running technique (i only mention this as I overpronate on my left leg and find barefoot shoes and accompanying technique very good)
the next thing to consider is that it is simply that your left leg is weaker, you are running 'off centre', or it is something that cannot simply be fixed by doing all the accepted cures (eg, stress from expecting the leg to hurt is causing you to tense up and making it worse? - my husband gets a bad back when he gets stressed!), also have you been to a doctor about it, there could be a different sort of problem internally?
of course it could be something else you are doing that is not helping - eg I myself have had intermittent problems with the inside of my left knee, which at first i put down to overpronation, then unruly thigh muscles, then when I thought about it i realised it was worse whenever i increased my strength training which includes doing squats. I am considering that it may be just due to being 48 and having a knee what is getting old and crunchy so i am in the process of leaving out the squats and trying other quad strengthening exercises instead (whatch this space!) so are you doing something else your leg does not 'like'
sorry for the waffle but the point i am trying to make is that it is not always as simple as putting a label on it and picking the 'correct' solution (which i am sure you have realised!) Take a holistic view and consider other forces that could be involved?
good point Pete about the running off road, some if my problems i think were not helped by the winter evenings mostly running on pavements!
Bruce Tulloh says that the majority of your training should be off road! thank god the evenings are getting lighter!
Although I don't have IT syndrome now (I've had it in the past) but I've had a knee injury for a year now and as part of my rehab I've been trying to strengthen my lazy glutes!
The execises I have been given from my physio are:
- Clams - lying on side, bent legs, feet together, raise upper leg up and down. You can add in a resitance band to make your glutes work harder. You can also do this lying on your side with your legs straight, just raise your upper leg up and down until the muscle tires. I do about 3 sets of 20. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc-8G9SZvuc&feature=relmfu
- Glute raises - lie on back, feet hip width apart, raise hips up. You can either hold here for a minute, you can balance on a bosu to make it more challenging, but what I actually do is raise one leg so I'm balancing just one one leg, and pulse up and down. Initially I feel this in my hamstrings, but after about 10 reps it tires and I begin to feel it in my glutes. So I do about 15-20 of those, 3 sets. I think this is a really good exercise. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zR4K8MeioCU&feature=related (sorry about the golf chat)
- Squats with (or without) barbell are good for glutes - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j14GXiPMp7E If you really push through your heels you can feel it in your glutes. My hip movement is poor so I place small discs under my heels to stop me feeling like I might tip back, but if you can do without then all the better. I use about 20kg and do 3x15 reps.
- Single leg deadlifts - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mG-Stc3c7N0. Make sure you keep your back straight, I do it without weights. You could also just do normal deadlifts for starters. This also works your hamstrings. I do about 3x15 reps.
- I also use the pulley machine at the gym and use the ankle attachment to work my glutes. So I buckle it round my ankle and just raise up and down, also behind as well. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFm7qfr9viE&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PL34D646243F614A1A
I'm not an expert but I do think they are fairly standard glute exercises. Really hope you manage to get over you IT problems and get running again! Let me know if you need more!
Exercises are the answer. Jennifer R's post is excellent, the most important exercise being the "clams". Lay against a wall to ensure your body is straight and raise top leg no higher than 30 degrees. Lead with the heel, keeping big toe pointing down slightly. Do the exercise very slowly. After 3 sets of 20 you should feel something happening! You probably won't be able to do 3 sets to start with.
Recovery from ITBS is a long term process - it may take a couple of months - but persevere and it is unlkely to re-occur. The ITB connects the outside of the knee to the outside of the hip, so it may be worthwhile stretching this area out regularly.
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