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Glute tightness and IT band issues
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A quick background: was once a fatty then got less fat (73-75 kg at 174cm) after running more or less consistently for 4-5 years, during which i had never experienced any issues with glutes and ITB; did mass start bike racing for the last six years; and just picked up running again early last month. I'm at 71kg right now, and I also have a leg length discrepancy, which is addressed by using a shim on the right side when cycling.

I get muscle tightness in my left glute almost as soon as i start a running session, and after the run, it kind of migrates to the IT band. The day after, the soreness emanates from near the ball joint. After some rolling with massage stick, it goes away after two days or so. All the while, it does not seem to be aggravated by my cycling, even when i bike the day after i run. I've had occasional issues with IT Band when bike racing, but nothing this troubling.

Would like to know if the leg length difference (right side shorter) might contribute to this. Also would like to know other than rolling, what other things i could do; should i stretch before the run after warming up? I do a core routine once a week and can usually hold planks on each side for more than a minute, perhaps that's something i should focus on more often? A few threads i read through seem to indicate that this is a relatively common issue that may persist for a few months, and i'd like to know if there are any additional methods that may reduce the likeliness of the flare up.

Many thanks in advance
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Re: Glute tightness and IT band issues [echappist] [ In reply to ]
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Not sure about the leg difference, but in addition to rolling the shit out of your quads/IT band (consistently, not just when it's sore), I'd suggest using a tennis ball to dig into your glutes. Or get some ART work. I also found that any issues I have with the backs of my legs (hamstrings and achilles tightness) are helped by taking care of my hip flexors and fronts of legs in general (whatever the "shin" muscle). For me at least, when those are tight, that's when the backside gets a little whacked.
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Re: Glute tightness and IT band issues [bltri] [ In reply to ]
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Lacrosse ball works great on the glutes as well plus it's a little harder so it digs in more.
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Re: Glute tightness and IT band issues [Toefuzz] [ In reply to ]
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thanks for the suggestions. looks like i'll need to pony up for the lacrosse ball

out of curiosity, could this ever go away with, say, additional strength training or is this a bit more nuanced than just muscle strength, per se?
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Re: Glute tightness and IT band issues [echappist] [ In reply to ]
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Is leg length discrepancy functional or anatomical? Also, ITBS presenting on lateral knee is easy to clinically rule in, symptoms over lateral hip joint need to be more thoroughly investigated, treatment would vary as well... e.g. could easily involve bursitis which I would not roll over lacrosse balls:)
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Re: Glute tightness and IT band issues [echappist] [ In reply to ]
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When I strained my piriformis, I had associated tightness in my IT band on the same side. Be very careful with the rolling... this is something I used to to too, but apparently you can do a lot of damage especially to the IT band. It'll make the problem worse. I do maintenance chiro and massage therapy now, and managed to stay injury free this season.

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Re: Glute tightness and IT band issues [echappist] [ In reply to ]
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http://strengthrunning.com/...video-demonstration/


This is awesome. Cannot sing the routines praises enough.
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Re: Glute tightness and IT band issues [olmec] [ In reply to ]
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Stretching and directed strength training By strentching, I mean repeats 3 or 4 strentches and/or yoga poses for like 1 minute each, 3-4 reps. It might take 30 minutes to get through a full stretching routine including 5 minutes of stretch cords to warm up. Do this 2x a day. Yes, 7 hours a week stretching.

You asked for a solution. Once you get "over the hump", you can ease back, figure out where you over extended yourself in training (probably too much speed work, too long on your long runs, too fast (running when fatigued and form breaks down), lack of recovery ,etc.


But that's more my own observation. Chiro, rolling, massage was almost completely useless and a waste of time and/or money for me. I eventually ramped up to 70mpw this last fall, and as long as I paid attention to stretching trouble areas, I kept my ITB, PF, Achillies all under control.


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http://www.trainingbible.com
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Re: Glute tightness and IT band issues [motoguy128] [ In reply to ]
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wow, thanks for all that info. I think i may need to give the stretching some serious thoughts even on my cycling days
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Re: Glute tightness and IT band issues [Toefuzz] [ In reply to ]
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Toefuzz wrote:
Lacrosse ball works great on the glutes as well plus it's a little harder so it digs in more.

Absolutely 100% yes. Flat foam rollers or sticks won't cut it. A ball can dig deep

What also works is hard plastic hockey balls. 3 pack at Walmart for $1.99 and I keep one at home, at my desk, and in my car
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Re: Glute tightness and IT band issues [echappist] [ In reply to ]
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The link that olmec posted re. the ITband strengthening exercises has worked wonders for me. I started having IT band syndrome over the winter. It started about 4 months after I'd stopped doing strength training (in december, stopped in Sept). Persisted all winter and into the summer. Got new bike fit, didn't help. I started doing strength training again about 3 months ago, along with some of the exercises in the routine to strengthen my hips, and took 6 weeks off running entirely. This week I've run 3 times, 5-6km each time. No pain at all. I usually do weights once a week (lunges, squats, plyometrics,etc) and then hip specific stuff once or twice a week in the evenings watching Netflix. I also stretch and foam roll after every workout, but that is nothing new and I did that even when I was having problems.

Started running again last week. Gone a few times now with no pain at all. 5-6km and building the distance. Before I was lucky to hit 1km without pain.
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Re: Glute tightness and IT band issues [Sanny87] [ In reply to ]
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Had ITB issues over the winter as well. Couldn't run more than 10/15 min before having to walk due to the pain. Had no issue cycling, swimming or strength except the odd sensation on the side of the knee because I kept "thinking" about it..... It was like that for ~3 months and stretching/foam roller/ART/Osteopath/Physio/Compex didn't change a thing!
Then I started doing 2 things on top :
  • the ITband strengthening exercices from the video after each run
  • Voodo Floss on the leg where I had pain. I would strap the knee and then do some squats, then wait couple of minutes then strap above the knee and so on.... I would do at least Knee, above knee and under knee. If time allowed I would do the whole leg.

I can't really tell what fixed the issue as I tried everything but it eventually went away and I do feel that the Voodo Floss is GOLD. I have no idea why it works or how it works but it is the only one I'm still doing today specifically for the knee and I raced 4 70.3 over the summer without pain!
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Re: Glute tightness and IT band issues [randomtriguy] [ In reply to ]
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Softball or baseball also works good when I want a little more surface area to hit all at once.
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Re: Glute tightness and IT band issues [echappist] [ In reply to ]
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Consider the possibility you have referred lower back pain into your butt and lateral hip. No amount of rolling or rubbing will help. Everyone has a leg length descrepency and most are insignificant. Find a PT and get a real diagnosis and treatment.
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Re: Glute tightness and IT band issues [echappist] [ In reply to ]
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echappist wrote:
A quick background: was once a fatty then got less fat (73-75 kg at 174cm) after running more or less consistently for 4-5 years, during which i had never experienced any issues with glutes and ITB; did mass start bike racing for the last six years; and just picked up running again early last month. I'm at 71kg right now, and I also have a leg length discrepancy, which is addressed by using a shim on the right side when cycling.

I get muscle tightness in my left glute almost as soon as i start a running session, and after the run, it kind of migrates to the IT band. The day after, the soreness emanates from near the ball joint. After some rolling with massage stick, it goes away after two days or so. All the while, it does not seem to be aggravated by my cycling, even when i bike the day after i run. I've had occasional issues with IT Band when bike racing, but nothing this troubling.

Would like to know if the leg length difference (right side shorter) might contribute to this. Also would like to know other than rolling, what other things i could do; should i stretch before the run after warming up? I do a core routine once a week and can usually hold planks on each side for more than a minute, perhaps that's something i should focus on more often? A few threads i read through seem to indicate that this is a relatively common issue that may persist for a few months, and i'd like to know if there are any additional methods that may reduce the likeliness of the flare up.

Many thanks in advance

I've had ITBS hitting me last spring. I did every possible treatment and got two infiltrations. Strengthening hips helped a lot, but it wasn't until indiscovered they 'forgot' my leg discrepancy when making my new orthotics.

Got new orthotics with a correction and my problems have been decreasing really fast. I'm at a point where I've been painfree for a few weeks now.

So, yes, get on top of the discrepancy and it'll save you a lot of frustration.
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