I'm starting to get really, really sick of going to different doctors. I feel like every single one has a different diagnosis for what's causing my ITBS.
Enough! Shouldn't running be simple? "This is your injury - here is your treatment. Wash and repeat a few times and you'll be ready to get back out there."
I went to a PT session last month and felt instantly defeated. My PT blamed my shoes and tried to get me to buy $70 orthopedic insoles, and told me if I didn't change my running form I would never be able to run again. I didn't go back, and I've been trying all kinds of other treatments, and nothing has worked. Finally, I swallowed my pride and made another PT appointment, this time with a different company. It was a longer drive, but it was worth a shot.
I liked this PT off the bat. After she listened to my injury details, the first thing she said was, "Okay, well we have our goal. We'll get you back to running." She went through a lot of different tests, and after almost 2 months of being in pain, I heard a question I wasn't expecting.
"Did you know one of your legs is longer than the other? Your hips are out of alignment."
She did a slight adjustment and showed me different exercises to target my hip flexors. The funny thing is I always thought I was okay in the hips, because I do the abductor and adductor machines at the gym. As it turns out, my hips are complete and total shit. One of the exercises was a side lunge, followed by a backwards and diagonal lunge that opens up your hips. I almost fell over every single time I tried it.
After I got home, I looked it up more. It makes sense, and I don't know why I never thought of it before. Everyone else told me to train my glutes, but I've never worried about increasing the range of motion in my hips. Here is some medical babble:
"The function of the muscles inserting into the ITB (Tensor Fascia Lata) is to abduct the leg. If the hip abductors are weak, then the ITB is being overworked. The ITB does not have an insertion that offers a favorable mechanical advantage. In fact, it is at a considerable disadvantage for the purpose of hip and leg abduction activity. Therefore when the hip abductors are weak, the tensor fascia lata must contract harder and over a longer period of time thus straining the ITB. Make sure that part of your cure is to strengthen your hip and leg abductors."
So, after all these doctor visits, why do I trust this PT? Tonight at the gym I did a few of the exercises she showed me, and I was able to do 10 minutes on the elliptical without any pain. Since there's still inflammation, it didn't last very long afterwards. Still, it's a start. Hopefully it's a start to my real road to recovery.
I'm Jenn! I'm a baker, blogger, sorta-runner, and writer living in Jacksonville, Florida!