First off, I have to give credit for the title of this blog posting to Cath. I’ve been complaining about my iliotibial (IT) band on The Twitter and, given my challenge of trying to write blog postings that all end in “it!” this month, Cath made the brilliant-as-soon-as-you-hear-but-I-totally-would-not-have-thought-of-it-myself title of “IT it!”
The iliotibial band (IT band or ITB, for short) is a basically a fibrous tissue that runs from the hip to the knee; it serves to stabilize the knee when walking and running and such. Runners often suffer from a tightness of the ITB, but since I’ve been running for a few years now without any ITB issues, I thought I’d escaped this particular curse. Until about a week and a half ago.
I was doing my long run (16 km) and partway through my knee started to bug me. It doesn’t hurt per se but more was just feeling really tight. Devon’s been having ITB issues lately1. I tried to incorporate some more concerted stretches into my days over the next week, but honestly, I was kind of lazy about it. Then I ran my 12 km the next week and my knee was stiff the whole time! I consulted Dr. Twitter2 and the general consensus3 was that it was probably from running up all the hills4 and that I should probably get a roller to work out the ITB tension.
I went to the massage therapist and the chiropractor yesterday and they did a bunch of work on my ITB and my massage therapist did a thorough assessment and found that my main problem was an insanely tight gluteus maximus muscle, which inserts into the ITB. That’s right, I’ve officially been diagnosed with having a tight ass.
So, I’m now really onboard with the whole stretching thing5, incorporating several stretch breaks through the day, along with using my shiny blue ball, and I’m thinking I need to find time to go buy myself a roller!
- Stemming from him trying to run with me, actually. He’s 5 ft 11 and I’m 5 ft, so he’d been shortening his stride to run with me and it was causing his ITB to get too tight. [↩]
- i.e., I whined on Twitter about my ITB being tight. [↩]
- Except for Steven, who just thinks I’m getting old. Bastard. [↩]
- New West is very hilly and while for most of my running this summer I’ve walked up a giant hill from my riverside abode to the more uptown area as my warm up and then done my running up there and back down the big hill, in my last couple of runs I’d planned routes that ended up having me run uphill a lot. [↩]
- We’ll see how long that lasts! [↩]