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Massage/IT band pain need help


I have ran in cross-country and track for two years, I do distance running and enjoy it very much. But lately I have been having pains in my IT band.
 My coach tells me that I should rest it and he only allows me to do the 1500m race so I won't do anything to it. I have iced it stretched it, and rested it. I've even used a foam roller to help.
 The other day I went running and I felt good to hope it felt a whole lot better but within 5 minutes it starts hurting and i have to stop because I'm limping.
 I'm not sure what I am doing wrong, because it's only getting worst as I go on. Should I see a doctor or is there a way to fix this?

Hi Annabelle!

Thanks for your question. Seems like you are suffering from IT (Iliotibial) Band Syndrome.

Since the IT Band's function is to stabilize the knee, the pain can radiate to the top of the knee. The classic example of the pain increasing exponentially with the exercise is indicative of this Syndrome. Pain will be felt after some exercise just below or above the knee. This mostly happens when your feet 'bang' the ground during running.

Your coach is right to tell ask you to refrain from exceeding 1500m.

You only ICE the pain on the onset of injury to avoid inflammation in the area. In all other instances, heat should be used to increase blood flow to the area.

I advocate visiting a doctor because if not properly diagnosed you might also have a torn cartilage and that has to be excluded with X-rays and an MRI. Once these more serious conditions have been excluded, you may freely visit a Licensed Sports Massage Therapist or a Physiotherapist for follow up treatments. Usually a couple of weeks rest without any form of running (just walking) will do the trick.

First of all before exercise you need to warm up. The stretching techniques should last at least 10 minutes to allow sufficient time for the muscles to get supple and warm up.

There is also the Bio-mechanical aspect of the Syndrome.


1.Toe in running
2.Aggressive uphill and d/hill running
3.Running on hard ground without adequate shock absorption.

There might also be abnormalities in the legs or feet.

The first thing to do before visiting a doctor would be to visit a Podiatrist (Podologist) where you may be fitted with custom made insoles designed to stabilize your feet during running. There is a condition called pronation (Flat foot) which might be the cause of your IT Band Syndrome. Orthotic insoles by Vasyli are one of the best you can get on the market if indicated in your case.

Its difficult to identify your condition without examining your problem areas so I have been as generic as possible to identify the cause.

Pls follow up should you have anything to ask.

Kind regards

Jeremy Lanfranco
Malta Europe  


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Jeremy Lanfranco


I can answer any questions about massage. Muscle and joint pains. I am also a practitioner in Esalen massage. I am also medically conversant so I can answer any questions you might have regarding the interaction of medicine with Massage Therapy.


16 years experience as a part time massage Therapist. 29 years experience as a Dental Hygienist (full time)

British School of Yoga Associate


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