Hiya, yea the vibrams may have irritated it. I think it was most likely on its way anyway, but running in vibrams requires a heck of a lot of strength - my longest runs in vibrams and other barefoot shoes are only about 10km. You need to build it up gradually and be patient - in the end (after 12-18 months) you will have your result. I work around west London, and don't know the chiropractors personally up your way, but good place to start is the BCSC (British council for sports chiropractic) website where they list all the members. I think it would be a good idea to visit one soon so your healing can get started.
ITB issues are something I work with every day. As per usual, the problems tend to be caused by a combination of insufficient flexibility and poor technique. My first recommendation is to visit a sports chiropractor (as they can physically loosen up the joints of the legs) and then start looking at your flexibility and running technique. Often times the underlying cause may an ankle sprain in the past, even years ago, which has led to prgoressive joint stiffness and muscle over activation. To completely sort out the problem will take a few months, but when done properly you will not only run injury free, but also with much greater efficiency and enjoyment. In this regard, the various products and specialised shoes are there to try and mask the problem rather than really to address the cause at fundamental level.
is this the side you had surgery on? there are a few possible causes for it, but mainly it boils down to two factors. 1) the mobility of your ankle i.e. the amount of dorsiflexion, and 2) your technique. Reduced range of motion on the ankle and the foot will cause the muscles to work harder than they are required (hence the one sided problem) and any history of previous injury will have caused changes to your technique and muscle activation patters. This means that you need to start increasing your flexibility and range of motion and sort out your technique. Personally, I get my chiropractor to loosen up my ankles and feet regularly and then I maintain them with regular stretching.
So to sum it up - if you are worried about it, visit a sports chiropractor and they can help you out. If you feel that you can run through it check out running tutorials and drills on youtube...
I am a fellow blister sufferer, or was. I've managed to tame the blister monster by changing my running technique. The big thing is to try and eliminate foot torque during the stance phase, meaning - stop twisting your foot when your weight is on it. It can be quite subtle and difficult to spot at first, but just pay carefuly attention to your feet and what they are doing. Another way of helping is to focus on landing near the 2nd toe (either midfoot or fore foot) and then springing off the big toe. Not only will this eliminate the torsion that rips layers of skin to shreds, but it also improves your gait mechanics allowing a much more efficient stride. I am a walking (and running testimony) of the success of this method, as previously I only needed to think of running and a few blisters would pop out, yet now I am running completely blister free (31 Miles yesterday).
I still wear Hillys twin skin socks and apply a bit of vaseline more for preventative reasons, as well as that being very comfortable.
thanks for all the input, it's all much appreciated. just to clarify, the problem is present to a certain extent whether I am running or not, it appears that the running just makes me explode (sorry for the vivid mental image). I have been to see doctors and been through the diagnosis of IBS etc. but unfortunately there is nothing really wrong with me as far as the medical profession are concerned. I say unfortunately, as I would simply like an answer and a solution, yet so far nothing is forth coming from that side.
GymAddict, thanks for the great suggestions, I will research those a bit more and try them out.