When I started running in 2010, after a few months, I found out the hard way what the Illiotibal Band Syndrome (ITBS) was. I fought it for about four months before I got it resolved. To this day, my right ITBS continues to get tight, but I have a regimen to keep it worked out. From what I hear and read this is one of the most common conditions among runners.
The first thing that is quite helpful in relieving tightness along the IT Band is the use of a foam roller. To use the foam roller, lie on your side with your body braced on your elbow and place the foam roller under your hip. Once in position, move your body forward so that the roller works itself down on the outside of your thigh; stop when you get to your knee. Roll slowly, until you reach you knee, then reverse the direction. Repeat this process for as long as you can stand it. If you have a particular spot along the way that is really sore, stop on that spot and allow the roller to apply pressure in that targeted area.
The second way to treat ITBS is stretching the IT Band.
1. Sit on the floor with your palms flat on the floor, spaced a few inches behind your butt. Bend your knees up and place the soles of your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Take your left foot and place your left ankle across your right knee. Drop your knee toward the floor, rotating at the hip in a sort of half-butterfly position. Hold the stretch for at least 25 seconds, and gradually try to get your knee closer to the ground. Repeat with the other leg.
2. Take your left leg, bent at the knee, and place it in front of you. Take your right leg and straighten it as best as you can behind you. You’ll be in a semi-split position, except your front leg is bent. You might need to drop your knee, bend your torso forward and use your arms for support. You want to feel the stretch in the outside of your hip area, so lean forward and slightly to the left as you hold this stretch. Hold for at least 25 seconds. Repeat with the right leg in front.
Finally, if you have a bad ITBS situation you may have to treat it with more than just stretching to get it conquered. The first and most horrible of phrases to hear by runners, is that you may have to lay off the running for a while until you get the condition under control. Oftentimes, however, you can treat with ice cycles to break up the tightness and soreness. Ice for about 10 to 15 minutes will work wonders for the ITBS.
During a Jeff Galloway meetup at the 2012 Walt Disney Marathon, I spoke with Jeff about this issue, and he said to do his Run-Walk-Run method, to give your legs recovery periods during your run. Also, he said that cold, pre-stretching before a run could possibly cause more harm than help to the issue. Since doing these suggestions, I do not have ITBS issues any longer, even though I do have soreness in the IT Band area, I know have to resolve & reduce it quickly.
I hope this helps in reducing any down time you may have from the ITBS issue.