Tuesday, December 29, 2009

ITB Syndrome Sucks

I think in general any diagnosis by a physician that ends in "syndrome" sucks because that normally means there isn't a gratifying cure like taking a pill for 2 weeks will make you instantly better.

My knee may be better in two weeks, it may be 6 months, who knows.

But I did see a fabulous ortho doctor today and despite my diagnosis, it was promising for me to get back into running hopefully sooner than later.

ITB Sydrome Definition: Pain and inflammation on the outside of the knee, where the iliotibial band (a muscle on the outside of the thigh) becomes tendinous, and results in a friction syndrome by rubbing against the femur (thigh bone) as it runs alongside the knee joint. (Sounds painful, right? Yup, it is.)

Initially, a dull ache 1-2 kilometres into a run (dull ache my ass), with pain remaining for the duration of the run. The pain disappears soon after stopping running (um, in my case, NO), later, severe sharp pain which prevents running pain is worse on running downhills, or on cambered surfaces pain may be present when walking up or downstairs.

Except my symptoms had turned into a constant ache in my knee with great difficulty walking up and down stairs. Heck, just walking in general became painful.

Most of what you read on the internet is simple - stop running. Huh, easy for the internet to say that.

My new ortho doc and I decided that doesn't have to be the answer. I am on anti-inflammatory drugs for 14 days, I start physical therapy on Monday, twice a week for four weeks with the strict instructions to follow all exercises twice a day for four weeks. I am also going in for a deep tissue massage on Sunday. At the end of four weeks if I still can't run, a cortisone shot will be given and a new course of action determined.

The doctor could have easily told me to stop running for six months and find something else to do, but instead he listened to my concerns (basically that I would become a big fat butterball of sugar cookies and potato chips if I didn't get to run) and worked with me. He has also seen this is a ton of runners, which sort of eased my mind. Let's hope that my knee will stop being a complete pain in my neck and respond to therapy and stretching. Keep your fingers crossed for me.


Carmen said...

I've had this - I was diagnosed after I ran a half. It sucked so, so bad, but it rarely bothers me now. I don't think I'll ever run another half, though, but I've had other injuries that contribute to that.

Good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

It sucks, but I love the outlook both you and your doctor have.

Keep us updated!

Carmen B. said...

I'm sorry! Did you hear my news? I can't seem to catch you while all your travels but we got another bambino on the way. Found out the day after the half. Crazy! Very excited but miss the running so much. I'm already looking for a fall race. I hope the knee feels better soon.

Anonymous said...

Having an IT injury is the WORST. Just keep stretching and rolling... I hear it helps. Good luck and I hope it clears out soon!