While a little fatigue and soreness may be expected from time to time, a sharp pain in the body should tell you that all is not well. Many athletes suffer from iliotibial band syndrome and this is a main cause of this sharp pain. The pain will manifest outside of your knee unlike in the “runner’s knee” condition where pain manifests around or below the kneecap.
Again, while the main treatments of injury includes ice, rest and stretching, because many do not understand the syndrome, they go ahead to treat it incorrectly.
Wrong or incorrect treatment might make ITBS to become a chronic condition. It is therefore best solved early. One of the common ways of dealing with the problem is resting, but here are some suggested strength exercises that should help you in the long term. The exercises recommended will see you return to normal in 1–2 weeks if suffering from minor recent ITBS injury. It may take longer to recover if the injury is more serious.
Active recovery: ITBS band exercises can help you recover quickly from this kind of pain although you will be stopping to run temporarily. Doing some exercises will ensure that you strengthen your weak areas. It is also recommended to do some exercises that helps strengthen your hip and gluteal muscles both as a prevention (for those who have not recovered) tactic and as a tactic to recover from ITBS pain.
Strength training will also help strengthen the butt, which normally weakens as a result of doing normal sedentary jobs and due to normal lifestyle.
- Side leg raise: This involves raising the left leg by about 45 degrees and lowering it, all while lying on the right side with both legs straight. Repeat for both sides (20–30 on each). You can also use a resistance exercise band around the ankles to increase resistance.
- Clam shell: Use glutes to slowly open and close the legs like a clamshell while lying on your right side and knees bending at 90 degrees to your torso. Keep the motion controlled without allowing the pelvis to rock during the movement. Repeat 20-30 times on each side. Like for many IT band exercises, you can use an exercise band here to increase resistance.
- Hip thrust: Use the glutes to raise your pelvis up while lying on your back, with arms at your side, knees bent and your feet on the floor. Raise the pelvis until the body achieves a straight line from knees to shoulders. Perform same exercise with each leg by raising one leg into the air. Lower slowly and repeat (20-30 on each side).
- SISE hipe bridge: Lift the torso using hip muscles while lying on your side with feet elevated 1–2 feet off the ground on a stable surface. Make sure to keep the spine stable. Lower slowly and repeat (10-30 reps for each side).
- Side shuffle: Go for 10 steps to the right and then 10 on the left with legs about hip-width apart and a tight exercise band around the ankle. 3-5 sets reps.
- Pistol squat: On a standing position, raise the left knee out in front of you. Lower yourself and balance on your right leg while straightening the leg out in front of you. Lower yourself until your quad is just parallel with the floor. Then slowly come back up. Do 5-15 reps per leg.
- Hip hike: Standing on your right foot and starting with the pelvis in a neutral position, then drop the left side to several inches below the right side of the pelvic bone. Lift your left side back to neutral position using the right hip muscle. Do 10-30 reps on each side.