Monday, January 27, 2014

Self Diagnosing: What do you think?

So after this weekend, I have come to the realization that my leg/knee pain is IT band Syndrome. Now this is just a self diagnosis of course, but I am 99.9% that is what it is. I have the centralized soreness on the side of my knees ( both of them) and the pain has extended to my hip as well.  At first I thought it was just soreness and nothing real serious because I had it in both legs/knees. What are the chances of being injured on both sides?  Well I guess I am.

I haven't put in a whole lot of miles yet this month ( currently only 47.36 miles) so I have been quite perplexed how this happened.  But after reading up on the causes of IT band pain, which include running on flat surfaces for an extended period of time ( like treadmills), and running down hills, I could clearly see now how this happened. 

I had been doing a lot of treadmill running and doing some outside hill work, ( but I am always careful to take it very easy when going down hills).

Along with my self diagnosis came trying to self treat! I have read about a ton of other runners who have suffered from IT band and it seems the consensus it to do a ton of foam rolling and exercises/stretches, so I started searching for them online.   My friend Monica has a few easy exercises that I've enjoyed doing over the past few days, but then she left me know that these exercises are for preventing IT band pain, not healing it.

 I will continue to do them though because I have to admit, my knees/legs did feel better when I was done.  Even if you are not having pain, you should check out her exercises.

So in an effort to find some exercises that will help heal the pain, I found this video as well.




Then my friend Heather from Mouse Fitness, sent me this wonderful information from Athletes Treating Athletes. Have you ever been on this sight? It is wonderful.  They tell you all about the symptoms and what each pain could be, offer solutions, step by step videos, and even show you properly how to apply KT tape to your injury. Thanks Heather!

I know people who have dealt with the IT band issue for weeks before they felt 100% back to normal. This really couldn't have come at a worse time for me, The Disney Princess weekend of races is only twenty some days away.  I know walking the 5K  (and possibly some of the 10K) is not a big deal, but my mom and I have trained really hard for the half and I don't want to slow her down much with all the walking I might have to do.   I didn't sign up for the Glass Slipper Challenge with the intention of "Walking"!   Last week my mom and I did a 10 mile walk on the rail trail  and  were still able to keep a 13 minute mile pace. So worse case scenario even if I have to walk some of it, I know we won't be in any danger of seeing the balloon ladies. That's not really my concern though. My concern is more about all the time, effort, and training my mom and I put into preparing for this race since last year. I know she is going to do her best and I wanted to be able to do mine too!

Since I already have learned so much about this pain and have been doing the recommended stretches and exercises, I was debating weather or not it was necessary that I visit a Dr, but in the end, I think it's probably a wise decision to make an appointment.   ~M

Have you ever had IT pain? (if so,what did you do?)
Have you ever been able to self treat a pain/injury without going to a Dr?


P.S If you had been following my Issue With Dick's Sporting Goods Online, I am happy to report that it has finally been resolved. After TWO MONTHS of going back and forth with them, I finally got the refund back on my credit card. Every week I would call and ask what was going on and they would always say that it was taken care of. I would wait a few days and check my statement and still see nothing, so I would call back and then they would tell me they were sending me a gift card instead, but then I would get a call back from Dick's  a few days later saying  I would be credited on my credit card not a gift card. This went back and forth for several weeks. I finally said "Would you guys make up your mind"!  Finally it was resolved, Thank Goodness!  ( And just to note, I didn't return anything. This was all caused by an incompetent sales associate that didn't know what she was doing, even though I tried to explain to her she was doing it wrong.) You need to just go and read my Dick's Sporting Goods post if you haven't already!

I hope you all have a great week!  Stay warm!

57 comments:

  1. OH NO!! I have heard ITBS is horrible... I would definitely make an appointment with the doctor. Maybe they can offer you more info than you've found online, or maybe you will find out it is something else? I hope you heal quickly, especially with the PHM just around the corner.

    Glad to hear your issue with Dick's Sporting Goods is finally resolved!

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    1. Thanks for the well wished Lauren! Yes I am SO glad I don't have to deal with Dick's Sporting goods anymore. I will never order online from there again!

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  2. Well you know I'll be watching for any good suggestions you get! I don't think mine is just ITB but it may be a little. Either way, rolling has helped almost immediately and I know that my quads are tight and contributing to the pain. I completely understand how you are feeling, I want to RUN the race I trained to RUN, ya know? Sure, I can walk it and I will if I have to, but that's not what I trained for.

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  3. If this is a repeat, sorry! Firefox doesn't seem to be working :(

    The very first thing my PT had me do was start strengthening exercises. I've got muscle imbalances that need to be corrected, and strengthening is the only way to do that. All of that is my fault though... I wasn't a good cross-trainer and did not focus on my glutes.

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    1. I've discovered, through my hamstring injury, that I have the dreaded muscle imbalances, too...apparently it's a common thing with runners because we mostly use our muscles in one direction. And if you're like me, you're very slack on doing much cross-training, until things start to go haywire. Hope you feel better soon!

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    2. I have been doing the strength training but am wondering if there is an underlying issue. Maybe something the PT will be able to find out.

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  4. I started having IT Band issues just before Princess last year, but I bought a foam roller and new shoes and that seemed to help it go away. Now, I've gotten better (but I'm still not perfect) at foam rolling and stretching my IT band. I also bought a pressure point roller....I love that thing. Ice really helped me as well :) Good luck with your IT band!! See you at Princess Half :)

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    1. I'm more dedicated to the foam roller now than ever. I'm hoping I have time for this to heal before PHM. What is a pressure point roller? Yes, I do hope to see you at PHM Rachel!

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  5. Oh man, I haven't had any It band issues (knock on wood), but I've know tons of people who've dealt with it. The foam rolling is the number one thing I've heard that helped with the pain. Hope you have a speedy recovery! I went to the Dr. for some knee pain only to be told it's "runners knee". I felt like I wasted my $, but the Rx for physical therapy did give me lots of insight into my running form.

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    1. I too have often read about other people IT band issues and often felt lucky that I have been very fortunate to have been running this long with out any injuries. I guess it's my turn now!

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  6. Girl, I feel your pain! Part of my knee prob is my IT Band. My PT taught me an AWESOME stretch for it, and it's truly the only stretch I ever felt ACTUALLY stretching my IT band. I wish I could describe it to you but it is hard to describe. I shall try.... Lay on your right side Bend your left leg but keep the top part aligned with your hip. Bring your right knee into your belly but hook your right foot over the side of your left knee. So your right foot is sort of pushing down on your left knee. Be sure your left leg is only bent at the knee but the rest is aligned with your body. Does this make sense??? If not I will post a pic on my blog tomorrow.

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    1. I think I got it, but I'll look for it on your blog! Thanks girl!

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    2. I forgot to post it, sorry! Will post tomorrow!!

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  7. Thanks for the shout out! I love the ATA site. Like we've talked about, PT or Chiropractors (especially those who do ART - active release technique) are wonderful. If you're not cross training, start! The Grid & Trigger Point Therapy help me keep mine in line. Almost every time my IT Band is tight at this point, it's my quads, hamstrings, calves, and periformis that need to be loosened up. I loosen those up, then roll my IT Band. It's a lot of work, but it's worth it. Hope you're able to figure out what's going on!

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    1. Thank you so much Heather! I have called around to see who does ART and l can't seem to find one. Looks like I will be going to PT.

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  8. Thanks for those videos!
    You've trained.. I'd take it easy on your body over the next few weeks & I would imagine you'll be fine for the race. Just take it easy on the 5k & 10K so you don't aggravate it before the big race.

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    1. I'm thinking I will be fine for the races as long as the pain doesn't get worse. I just worry that it will start back up again in the middle of a race. I guess I'll be wearing KT tape!

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  9. I have battled (and still do to this day) ITBS, I use trigger point therapy once a day during the week and 2x a day on the weekends to keep it under control. It really helps me a ton and I have rarely even noticed any twinges of pain since I started this more aggressive regimen. It was not pretty when I started using trigger point, but over time it's not bad at all. Good luck!!

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    1. I need to look into this Trigger Point Therapy.

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  10. Bookmarked the ATA site! Thanks for the info about Lauren (Glass Slipper) running The Woodlands Marathon (because I'm running that half)! Sorry you're having running troubles.

    I was really looking forward to the St. George Marathon and then I became injured (in a minor way). Fortunately, I was able to run it. I hope you heal quickly!

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    1. You are welcome. I hope the two of you can connect! Glad you still got to run your marathon!

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  11. I have bursitis in my knees and it's awful! (actual diagnosis) I'd love to start running because I keep hearing how great it is for weight loss and fitness. I'll have to stick to Zumba for now. Hope the knee gets better and you feel better soon! Thanks for stopping by too! ;)

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    1. Sorry you are dealing with bursitis! I have wanted to try Zumba. Hopefully sometime this year I'll get around to it!

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  12. I'm sorry you are struggling. I just stick to dancing, and my knees (and everywhere else) is just fine. I can adjust the tempo, length of time, even the amount of bouncing I do, based on how I feel/what my energy level is. Let alone when I do it. Love dancing! :)

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    1. That sounds like a lot of fun! Thanks for stopping by Gwen!

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  13. I'm sorry to hear you are having IT issues. One thing about runners, is they are pretty good at self diagnosing, especially if you've been a runner for years! Likely you are right. What I always say and do, is figure out what it is to the best you can on your own, do everything you can for 2-3 weeks, and if you are still having troubles and either things are getting worse, or no signs of improvement, then it's time to see a Dr. Good luck, hope you heal quick.
    I haven't had this issue, but I've known lots who have. I will say the key is rest it asap. I've been told it can be the difference of suffering for it for few months or a year or longer if you don't rest it enough at the beginning.

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    1. I thought I could work it out on my own, but it is time I seek medical help!

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  14. oh, ouch. I've never dealt with this pain *knocks on wood* but rest might be the key here.

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    1. I hope you never have to experience this. It is quite painful!

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  15. I am SO sorry that you're experiencing this!! :0( I will tell you...Atomic Balm (found at Academy) and Bio Freeze (also ON the Disney course) are both amazing. I also wear a neoprene knee sleeve over my injured knee and it helps a lot! Take it easy these next few weeks...hope everything heals up quick!!

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    1. I have never heard of Atomic Balm, and I will definitely be buying a knee sleeve! Thanks for the suggestion Karen!

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  16. Great info! My IT band has been feeling tight lately - for the first time - scaring me!

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    1. I would definitely start doing these exercises Amy so you don't end up in the same situation I'm in!

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  17. I'm the master of not going to the dr unless I absolutely have to. My stubbornness runs deep. Plus I'm usually able to figure out ways to deal with and heal injuries with a little googling.

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    1. Even though I know what my pain is, I'm giving in and finally going to the Dr!

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  18. Aww I hope you feel better girl and hopefully you heal quickly!

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  19. Hope you feel better and your pain doesn't get worse!!!!

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    1. Thank you! I'm hopeful it will be better after my Dr. visit!

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  20. I hope you feel better! Get lots of rest and ice!! I don't go to doctors a lot and I feel that by resting and icing it typically helps! Good luck!

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    1. I have been doing lots of rest, ice, and foam rolling!

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  21. I hope you heal up quickly! I love self-diagnosing myself. Its probably a band thing, because I will then assume I have issues when I really don't... but it makes me feel better sometimes to have a hunch at whats going on IMMEDIATELY. We like instant gratification, don't we? :)

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    1. You are right! It's even better when we know how to "fix" our problems!

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  22. I hope your feeling better soon!

    I am prone to (self diagnosed) ITBS that mostly bothers my hips! I tend to foam roll the heck out of it and lightly stretch it several times a day. Sometimes I end up at the chiropractor to get my pelvis realigned and that helps too.

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  23. Sounds like ITBS to me too. I have three words for you. Active Release Therapy, or ART. It hurts, but it will heal it. My sports chiropractor does it, you can easily find someone in your area that does it, by doing an internet search.

    There is a certain flat, unpaved trail, around here, and every time I run it, I get ITBS on the right side (I quit running on it), and occasionally excess biking will cause it for me too. Biking is known to cause your ITBs to get tight and inflamed.

    Good luck!

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    1. Thank you so much for this suggestion! Another friend suggested ART as well so I finally went and made an appointment for that! I'm not looking forward to how much it will hurt though!

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  24. I am the queen of self diagnosis. I have suffered both IT band and piriformis issues and wrote a similar post here http://apaceofbalance.blogspot.com/2014/01/hips-dont-lie.html?spref=tw

    Foam rolling, yoga poses and strengthening exercises helped me. Hope my post is just as helpful to you!

    Most importantly, take care of yourself! Good luck!

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    1. I read your post Michelle. Thank you so much for sharing! This is why I love the blogging community!

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  25. Hope your IT band starts to feel better soon! Just know that we walked the Disney World 10k earlier this month and it wasn't horrible. Although its not necessarily ideal, you'll still have a blast because, after all, its Disney!

    And I'm glad to hear to everything is now resolved with Dick's. Yay!

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  26. I giggled when I read your title because TODAY my PT told me to firstly "STOP GOOGLING!" I had self-diagnosed myself with a torn ACL, torn Meniscus, and a few other serious injuries...lol. I was wrong with each guess. That being said, it never hurts to work the IT Band for sure! Feel better :)

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  27. Oh no! I wish you a quick recovery with your injury! RunDisney is on my bucket list and I get so excited for anyone who is actually doing a race! I hope things get a bit better for you and you're able to compete as you'd hoped! Good luck!

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  28. Meranda, I am so sorry you are dealing with this so close to Princess weekend. Remember though that your Mom wants to run these races with you as an experience to share (speaking from a mother who runs with her daughter). It is terribly disappointing to have something like this happen so close to race weekend. I would definitely seek medical help. When I had a piraformis injury several years ago, Physical Therapy had me in great shape very quickly.

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    1. Thanks Pam! I do know this will be a great experience even if I have to take it slow. I am hoping I recover soon though!

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  29. Oh man foam rolling the IT band has to be the worst pain ever! I use a kitchen rolling pin so I can control the pressure more. Injury/pain sucks. I'm having extremely tender sides of my calves pain after sunday's 7 mile run. I've been icing and stretching. Feels better, but I know how frustrating it can be to do all that training and feel somewhat injured. Hopefully it will feel better soon.

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  30. Yep -- I know all about self-diagnosing. I am SO guilty of that. :( Wishing you a speedy recovery!

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