Andrea Reeves wrote...

From Reprinted with Andrea's permission.   -  9/30/96

I was training for a marathon last year, cautiously (I thought) raising my mileage - when, 6 weeks out, my running partner and I both developed ITB syndrome in our left legs. We had been running roads, and it's pretty common to develop ITBS on the side of the leg farthest from the center of the road.

Well, I did run a marathon on it, knowing I'd pay the price later - but what a price it turned out to be! Months of not being able to run more than 2 miles without pain...Cortisone shots gave temporary relief, but I didn't want to keep on that path, so I stopped them. I did all the stretches, iced regularly, took enough ibuprofen to scare myself - to no avail.

Then I saw another sports medicine doctor, who suggested something I hadn't even heard of before - to put a 1/4" lift in the heel of the shoe on my uninjured side. This worked! I was able to run 5 miles without pain immediately, and have not since been troubled with ITBS except during the 30 mile bike leg of a triathlon this summer.

The theory behind the lift (I used a Spenco heel pad) is that by raising the hip on the uninjured side slightly, it takes the pressure off the IT band on the injured side, stopping the rubbing.

After a month or two, I removed the lift. I mostly train on the flats now, just to be safe, but no more problems in that knee.


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