IT Band Woes

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Morning!  I thought I’d try a short run this morning to see if my IT band/knee acted up (it flared up on Saturday during a 5.0 miler and I’ve rested it since).


In case you didn’t know, the IT band is definitely something you want to take care of if you’re a runner (or cyclist!).  “The iliotibial band is a superficial thickening of tissue on the outside of the thigh, extending from the outside of the pelvis, over the hip and knee, and inserting just below the knee.” (Source)


I’ve been foam rolling like it’s my job since Saturday because I suspect a tight/irritated IT band is the cause of my woes.


We recently bought this foam roller.  It’s super dense and it hurts so good.


The Husband has also been cupping my IT band.  Cupping is a method during which a Chinese medicine practitioner places glass cups containing reduced air pressure (to create suction) on the skin.  It causes huge, attractive “hickeys” (I look like an octopus hugged my leg) but it really helps move around stagnated blood and promote healing.


All in all – no pain during today’s 2.0 miler.  What a relief! I hope it holds up.




  • Greek yogurt
  • Strawberry jam
  • Cereal
  • A banana
  • Chia seeds


As usual, I am running late.  :(  Gotta jet!



  • janae @ hungryrunnergirl November 17, 2010, 10:04 am

    I am so glad it didn’t hurt during your run today!! Your breakfast looks amazing!! Have a great day:)

  • Jamie @ Food in Real Life November 17, 2010, 10:09 am

    Glad you had a pain free run. I’m going to do a 2 miler today too.

  • grocery goddess jen November 17, 2010, 10:16 am

    I’m so glad you’re married to someone who practice alternative medicine, and that we get to hear all about it! Glad the run didn’t hurt today.

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat November 17, 2010, 10:17 am

    Foam rolling is one of my favourite things to do post-run (and most painful things to do… strange that I actually enjoy it!) and I’ve noticed that I manage to recover much faster by doing it. Your brekkie looked delicious! Have a great day! 😀

  • Holly @ couchpotatoathlete November 17, 2010, 10:18 am

    I need to learn more about cupping — sounds interesting!

    Foam rolling is the best — I used it every day when I was marathon training and now I use it 2-3x per week. Keeps my legs feeling good!

  • Michele @ Healthy Cultivations November 17, 2010, 10:21 am

    I’ve seen so much about foam rolling in recent months but really never investigated further. I’m not sure I understand why it hurts. Additional reading required.

  • Allison November 17, 2010, 10:22 am

    Whoa. Your breakfast looks so delicious.

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin November 17, 2010, 10:23 am

    I got cupping on my back when I was having major sciatic pain and it made a WORLD of difference. So glad your run today was pain-free!

    • Caitlin November 17, 2010, 2:24 pm

      Glad to hear cupping helped you!

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday November 17, 2010, 10:24 am

    Luckily I haven’t had any pain from running since I started running about 7 years ago.
    It’s good to hear that your run went well today. Hope that sustains for your longer jaunts.

  • Caitlyn (A Spoonful of Life) November 17, 2010, 10:27 am

    I think it’s neat your husband practices alternative medicine. It certainly comes in hand with you being an athlete! Then again, you were probably the test subject for a lot of his techniques…which could be good & bad!!

  • Kelly November 17, 2010, 10:28 am

    Sigh, IT band pain, story of my life. It’s the worst, I plan to foam roll the crap out of myself before my race on Sunday to get through it.

  • tina November 17, 2010, 10:35 am

    you should also try to work on stengthening your hip flexors- weak hips/gluteus medius can also weaken your running… i know i have a lot of injuries that all stem from my hips/weak gluteus medius. IT band issues are very common to stem from there, and are also related to knee issues!

    here is a great article for it-

    here are some exercizes you should work on to help strengthen in it addition to stretching and working on keeping your hips level and maybe adding more of a hip rotation when you run:

    anyway, let me know if that helps! 🙂

  • Camille November 17, 2010, 10:48 am

    I developed some major IT band problems after my marathon and 5 weeks later I am still in resting mode 🙁
    It sucks because I am losing all muscle definition! Ugh.

    • Stephanie November 17, 2010, 12:31 pm

      Me too!!! I am only 3 weeks post-marathon, but it has been getting worse. I have tried almost everything, except that knee strap, the reviews are promising, so here is hoping it helps!

      • Camille November 17, 2010, 12:43 pm

        I ended up getting it checked out and they put me in a knee brace and crutches 🙁 They said to just stay off of it for 3-6 weeks. Yuck!

      • Karen November 17, 2010, 2:15 pm

        I highly recommend the knee strap. I’ve worn the ones that go just above the kneecap and the ones that go just below it. Surprisingly, I got the most relief when I wore the one that goes just below the kneecap. It seemed counterintuitive to me, since it sits below the IT band. But (as I was told by a running coach), wearing the strap just below the patella keeps it from moving around and irritating the IT band. It worked wonders for me.

  • Ali November 17, 2010, 10:49 am

    It is always so interesting when you talk about your husband’s practice/profession. I find it fascinating because I really have not heard that much about that line of work. Have a safe flight!

  • Suzanne @ Continuing My Education November 17, 2010, 10:52 am

    Sorry about your IT Band! I had IT band troubles for a long time! I went to physical therapy and found no relief until I visited a Chiropractor for ART (Active Release Therapy) and she figured out that my ankle was stiff (from spraining my ankle) which was causing my IT band issues. It was amazing how quickly it got better once she loosened my ankle!

    Happy Hump Day!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) November 17, 2010, 10:58 am

    I find Chinese medicine fascinating! This was great information. I am glad it is feeling better! Have a great day Caitlin!

  • Natalia - a side of simple November 17, 2010, 11:06 am

    I need a foam roller like I need that yogurt bowl. Right NOW 🙂

  • Marci November 17, 2010, 11:27 am

    Oh my poor IT Band! And your poor IT Band. Funny how things move through bloggers like a virus. I have the same foam roller (mine is pink) and I have been rolling on it a lot lately! My left leg flared up at the knee on Sunday at mile 9 of 10. I am very concerned, I have my first 13.1 in 2.5 weeks! But I’ve been icing, rolling, and adding more yoga. Haven’t tried to jog yet. I also know it’s important to strengthen surrounding muscles like quads, hips, glutes. I’ve been working on them for a while but adding more time now. And hoping it goes away. Who does cupping–chiropractors or acupunturist, or both?

    • Caitlin November 17, 2010, 2:23 pm

      Acupuncturist. You might want to give it a whirl. I would also minimize running to maybe 1 hour or less until your race. You’ve trained, just maintain your fitness and don’t risk blowing the race!

  • Leah @ Why Deprive? November 17, 2010, 11:38 am

    Foam rolling is amazing. My boyfriend just got me my first foam roller a few weeks ago, its my new favorite thing!

    Glad your IT band was better today. Thats not something you want to mess with!

  • Heather November 17, 2010, 12:00 pm

    I love my foam roller! Have you tried any IT band stretches? I find combining foam rolling with stretching really helps!

    My IT band stretch trio (plus foam rolling) is 1)standing hamstring/runners stretch 2)standing or lying piriformis stretch 3)Standing side bend with opposite arm extended. I do each stretch 2-3 times holding for 30 seconds.

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg November 17, 2010, 12:14 pm

    Gwyneth Paltrow does cupping…that’s about all I know about it 🙂

    I really want a foam roller!

  • Nicole - yuppie yogini November 17, 2010, 12:15 pm

    So glad your knee/leg felt better today!!

  • Lisa November 17, 2010, 12:35 pm

    It looks like you have the same Foam roller as me. Mine is super dense and hard. Much better than the ones at the gym! (Too soft).

  • Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat November 17, 2010, 12:38 pm

    Foam rollers are awesome–don’t know where I’d be without mine!

  • Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table November 17, 2010, 12:54 pm

    Glad you are doing better! I need to look more into alternative remedies – my IT band is perpetually acting up and causing knee pain.

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey November 17, 2010, 12:57 pm

    Glad your knee isn’t acting up today! That’s good news!

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers November 17, 2010, 1:13 pm

    Ugh IT band issues are nothing to laugh at- glad yours is feeling better!!

  • Dee November 17, 2010, 1:37 pm

    Good to hear that you’re knee is feeling better. I hope it’s healing quickly! 🙂

  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance....after a 100+ Pound weight loss!!! November 17, 2010, 1:49 pm

    I am so happy that after months of Knee Pain it finally went away as I shorted my distance and started doing single leg extensions at the gym twice a week………=)

    Hope your IT stays good!

  • Shannon November 17, 2010, 1:59 pm

    I know that IT band pain oh so well! Mine got bad enough last winter that I had to miss Philly’s Broad street run because just walking steps caused stabbing pain.

    I’ve found foam rolling, staying away from hills (as much as possible) and switching my shoes have really helped. I also have learned when I feel that twinge- to completely lay off and do other forms of cardio 🙁 I hope yours settles down for good!

  • Marisa @Loser for Life November 17, 2010, 2:30 pm

    Woe is me, too! I’ve been resting, foam rolling and icing to calm it down. My first half marathon is this Sunday, so having the knee/IT band act up is doing a little number on my brain! But, no turning back now 🙂

  • Laine @ Beets, Butter & Moutaintops November 17, 2010, 2:42 pm

    I love cupping. We have an acupuncturist next door to our office, and it is heavenly. Except when the burning moxa comes through the heating vents and our clients look at us funny.

  • Karen Bowers November 17, 2010, 2:49 pm

    My IT band gets tight when my gluteus medialis gets tight. I learned a couple deep stretches for the Glute, and it’s amazing how much better my leg is now.

    Hope you recover quickly.

  • Amber K November 17, 2010, 3:06 pm

    I have thought about getting a foam roller and just haven’t had the money to do so. I keep hearing about them though!

  • Alison (Ali on the Run) November 17, 2010, 3:09 pm

    Yay for no pain! Glad you’re feeling good. Post a picture of your cupped leg! Hehe.

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In November 17, 2010, 3:35 pm

    Can I just say how refreshing it is to see someone go out for a 2mile run! I think that reading all these blogs (my own included) it’s easy to get caught up in thinking that only 5+ mile runs are “worthy”. GO YOU!

  • Lily November 17, 2010, 3:47 pm

    What kind of cereal do you eat?

    • Caitlin November 17, 2010, 3:48 pm

      I think that’s the trader joe’s honey bunches of oats!

  • Joanne November 17, 2010, 4:18 pm

    I’ve been struggling with an irretable hamstring. It won’t go away. GRRR! I let it rest a week before resuming marathon training but it’s not liking the training.
    Injuries are SO annoying and they just don’t go away quickly enough. Good luck with your IT band. Fingers crossed it keeps feeling better.

  • Sana November 17, 2010, 6:40 pm

    Perks of being the wife of a doc! I can’t wait till I am the same 😉

  • Heather November 17, 2010, 7:04 pm

    I have been having IT band issues for over a month and it wont go away 🙁 I am glad yours seems to be ok though!

  • maria @ Chasing the Now November 17, 2010, 10:00 pm

    Pretty cool your knee is getting better. I’ve been fighting a leg injury since Sept. and it has not gotten any better. Time to see a doc, again, I think.

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss November 17, 2010, 10:01 pm

    glad you had a pain-free run! Those are always something to be thankful for 🙂

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