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kbstock
06-07-2018, 11:48
Hi all.....
Looking for suggestions.

My last three AT hikes have all been cut very short with IT Band issues. After the first two hikes, each time-- I underwent physical therapy, rehab, and did a fair amount of training on that particular area. Followed my doc's advice to the letter. Took smaller strides, wore the straps around both knees, went downhill like a granny, use trekking poles, my base weight is under 15 pounds--and overall I'm in great shape for a 62 year old woman. Except for these freakin' IT bands. It is so frustrating.

My last hike lasted 8 miles. EIGHT miles. And after I had dropped $600 on a zpack duplex, lol! Some hikers I ran into in Damascus were encouraging me not to quit and sell all my stuff...."Never quit on a bad day". I tried last October to hike through the pain....gimped along for 27 very painful miles and it became very apparent there was no "just getting over" this.

I'm open to suggestions.

My plan now is to just drive to some trail heads at Shenandoah National Park (I'm in Richmond, VA), hike to a shelter, camp, and then hike back to the truck. At least it gets me out there, but daggone....I wanna do something more than an overnighter.

I just don't want to believe that "three strikes and you're out" applies to me.

Thanks in advance....

MuddyWaters
06-07-2018, 11:56
Try taking up running.

The root of overuse repetitive motion injuries, is that the parts arent conditioned to the repetitive loadings they receive.

8 mi sounds like not healed in first place. Tendonitis can take 6 weeks or more to heal. More if aggravated. Stretching promotes blood flow to aid in healing.

With muscles, its not always what u think thats the root of problem. When a weak muscle gets tited, or sore, gait changes to shift load off it....overloading orhers that otherwise would be fine.

When I had ITB flareup once....I could feel muscle strain in muscle on front of shin after several 20+ mile days in row. This changed everything about gait, ultimately ending up affecting ITB also after a couple days. I became unable to walk without 2 ibuprofen every 3-4 hrs. I still managed another 40 mikes to nbext town, walking stiff-legged uphill, and sideways downhill.

Femadog
06-07-2018, 12:20
I feel your pain, literally......I fought IT pain every day of my 130 mile hike in April and most of last year's 100 plus miles SOBO through Shenendoah down to Glasgow. I was stopping to stretch the band 4 or 5 times a hour, taking Vitamin I, and taking longer lunch breaks. I could cut back on the daily miles (and probably should but it seems like such a waste to sit around half the day.) I was doing 12-15 a day.

It didn't seem to kick in until a couple of hours into the hike so it didn't show up during my training hikes (1 hour uphill climbs at a ski resort) I did find a web site that has a good preventative program that I am trying out that seems to be helping some. http://strengthrunning.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/ITB-Rehab-Routine.pdf.

Never give up, never surrender!

NJdreamer
06-07-2018, 12:48
What a bummer. I have had it in both legs at different times including a bad case in February. I almost dropped out of a run for early May, but ended up for the race. In addition to what you stated, I used a foam roller. It seemed to snap it back into a normal pain free mode. Look online for demos on how to do it. Roll your leg over it, up to your hip, or almost, and to just above the knee. I also did the strengthen exercises, you can't stretch it per my sports doctor. I am backpacking or hiking most weekends, and did 32 miles over 2 days last week, pain free. If you haven't tried a roller, I strongly recommend that extra step. Also my doctor told me not to run through the pain, back in February, and I didn't but was able to work my way back to long runs and hikes. My pack weight is about 23 pounds. My age is similar to yours. I can share my exercises if you think that will help. Good luck.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

Rallywagon
06-07-2018, 13:45
Try intermittent fasting. Not to lose weight, but to see if the changes in blood chemistry might help the healing. If you can go for 36 hours between eating, you might see some benefits. Good luck.

Shrewd
06-07-2018, 13:58
My left IT band started to bother me in Pearisburg. I tried lots of stretching and such and a brace and it all sorta kinda helped.

In the end I was reliant upon ibuprofen, which I took regularly until I finished at Katahdin.

It truthfully still bothers me.

Itís usually caused by a muscular imbalance so Iíve been targeting my hips and glutes lately.

Try biking/swimming and google different IT band related is exercises

Mobius
06-07-2018, 14:12
I have IT Band flare ups from time to time. In my case/experience it's a combination of muscle imbalance and muscle tightness (esp from sitting around all day at work).

You can get over it! It'll take some work though.

In my experience there is NOT a one-time fix. Don't just treat the symptoms (knee strep), but solve the underlying problem.

Things that work for me (that I hope will work for you):
1) stretch: hamstrings, quads, glutes -- esp glutes
2) massage: I can almost always pinpoint a "hot spot"/muscle knot in my glute/butt. I use a tennis ball.
3) muscle strengthening: side leg raises work really well for me. Should feel it in the glutes, not the leg. Multiple sets, morning and night, every day until I forget and have a flare up.

Do these daily. It can take 2-6 weeks for them to have effect, and as you've noticed, you may not notice until many miles into a hike when it flares up.

IT Band issues are really common in runners and there are a lot of articles on it. You can google as well but some I have bookmarked:

Tennis ball glue massage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkbkRwqiZRY
When I have a real issue there will be a very painful spot the size of a walnut. That's the spot that needs to be massaged out. It can take a while (days/weeks)

General stretches:
http://running.competitor.com/2015/03/injury-prevention/10-exercises-to-treat-it-band-syndrome_125083/2
https://blog.mapmyrun.com/7-exercises-to-treat-and-prevent-it-band-syndrome/

IslandPete
06-07-2018, 15:47
It happened to me on our thru last summer. I’ve had it before. I kept telling myself that ITB pain is just that, PAIN! It’s not really an injury, nothing’s torn, or stretched, or dislocated, it’s just inflammation where that band rubs over a little nub of bone on the outside of the knee. Pushing on through it is not making an injury worse, it’s just making it hurt more. A LOT more! It was 4 VERY uncomfortable days before we could get off the trail, and I spent a day off icing it and stretching it, and gobbling ibuprofen, then back on the trail. You can walk through it. You can modify your gait, make shorter days, and use vitamin I. The band will get used to the rubbing, and the inflammation will go down.

clusterone
06-07-2018, 15:54
Run into this issue from time to time. Only thing that works for me is to cross the legs while standing and touch toes(stretches leg in rear). If you don't feel anything elevate the toes of leg being stretched. Good luck!

egilbe
06-07-2018, 20:10
Usually ITband issues are because of weak hip and glute muscles. I'd bet that's the area your PT targeted. I foam roll my legs, do crouching sidesteps with bands around my knees, clamshells with bands around my knees, side lunges, reverse lunges, split squats, single leg Romanian deadlifts, bridges and hamstring curls, all to strengthen my glutes and hips to keep IT band issues at bay. It's working so far.

kbstock
06-08-2018, 12:53
Usually ITband issues are because of weak hip and glute muscles. I'd bet that's the area your PT targeted. I foam roll my legs, do crouching sidesteps with bands around my knees, clamshells with bands around my knees, side lunges, reverse lunges, split squats, single leg Romanian deadlifts, bridges and hamstring curls, all to strengthen my glutes and hips to keep IT band issues at bay. It's working so far.

I do many of the same exercises.....AND I foam roll..... I don't think running will help (thats when the issue initially manifested) but I do cycle a fair amount. All I can think is that I'm not doing these exercises enough. I hit the gym twice a week, ride my bike a couple times a week..but I'm not foam rolling CONSISTENTLY. My doc showed me how to use my trekking pole as a "low-tech" foam roller...during breaks and at end of day, I would basically pressed it against my IT band just above the knee and pull it toward my hip until I found the "spot" (ouch)...and then kinda work that spot for 10-15 seconds.

The second hike was just 2.5 weeks before the last hike....perhaps the earlier comment about it not being healed completely was correct...but how do I know? I''m currently in NO pain whatsoever. Wait another month before I attempt again?

This is so frustrating. I had to have three separate surgeries for a really stubborn brain tumor 20 years ago and I got over all that in just a few weeks. I cant believe something as trifling as an IT band is causing this much trouble....nothing short of a dumpster fire, you know?

Thanks to all who posted! Love this community.

Uno

IslandPete
06-08-2018, 13:24
The second hike was just 2.5 weeks before the last hike....perhaps the earlier comment about it not being healed completely was correct...but how do I know? I''m currently in NO pain whatsoever. Wait another month before I attempt again?
I’m not a doctor, and it’s been a while since I’ve slept in a Holiday Inn, so you can ignore this if you wish. In my opinion, and I’ve had ITB syndrome multiple times, if you’re pain free, you’re good to go. There is no injury that needs to heal, just inflammation (swelling) of the ligament. If it swells and rubs, it HURTS, but if it doesn’t hurt, the inflammation is gone. If I wanted to get back on the trail, I would start hiking, shorter distances at first, but with ups and downs. Short enough that the hike is over before the inflammation starts. I’d take ibuprofen before and after, and if you feel any pain, ice. You’ve got to acclimate the band to the hiking without going too far too fast and irritating it. If that makes sense. I hiked through it, with a lot of ibuprofen and swearing, but it was not pleasant.

Spoppy
06-08-2018, 14:45
According to Dr Google the pain in my right knee was either a IT band injury or a lateral meniscus tear. However, my very recent MRI indicated that my right hip is shot and needs to be replaced now if I wish to continue my hike. As for my knee, I'am old and learning to accept that I have arthritis. Not sure where I was going with this except that I emphasize with your pain, frustrations and disappointment.

somers515
06-08-2018, 17:09
Another vote for stretching more. You didn't mention that in the original post - how much are you stretching while hiking? After 5-10 minutes of walking to warm up, stop and do a lot of stretching and then stop and do some stretching routinely after that. Set a timer to go off once every hour if you need to. In the evening when you are done hiking, you guessed it, stretch some more. A tennis ball doesn't weigh too much if you find rolling with it helpful. Also start slowing and ease into the miles. Start late on your first day of the trip so its a short hiking day, take it easy the second day too, be gradual as you increase the miles. Good luck and report back how it goes!

Leo L.
06-09-2018, 05:05
I could solve a rough case of IT band inflammation by applying medical tape X-wise around the knee.

bignfuzzy
06-09-2018, 22:38
Since you're in Midlothian, drive to Goochland and see David at Hands On Physical Therapy. Can't hurt to try another opinion - PT is an art.

I couldn't hike more than a mile in April without severe ITB pain, but he found the underlying problem and fixed it.

Davem
06-09-2018, 23:23
Lots of stretching and pool aerobics.

blw2
06-10-2018, 07:56
I don't really know anything about that particular issue, but in my experience with things 'physical therapy', there are good therapists and not so good.... & I'm guessing that one might be good in some areas and not so much in others. So, I'm guessing a good therapist that really know the anatomy of that particular issue would likely make a big difference.

I never will forget the physical therapist, when my back went out so bad I couldn't stand up straight...I was in a permanent bow (like 45 degrees or so) and could barely walk....so the guy says I want you to bend over and touch your toes, three set of ten daily. Stretch your arms over your head this way, three sets of ten.... (or whatever it was).... I don't remember the exact exercises and stretches he told me because I was too busy thinking about how much of an idiot he was.... I could barely move, how am I going to do that!?!