Back in 2013 when I finally forced myself to switch to morning workouts vs. after-work/early evening workouts, I had a memorable fitness instructor who taught my 7am spin/strength training course. She was a fitness fanatic obviously and loved running, having participated in a number of marathons and fitness competitions. She oftentimes talked about injuries, whether they were on her back, feet, but especially her “IT band.” Some days, she just instructed and couldn’t exercise with us because of her injuries.
If you are not familiar with what an “IT band” is, don’t worry. I didn’t really know what this connective tissue was called until she kept mentioning it. The IT band, or the iliotibial band, is a long piece of connective tissue that runs along the outside of your leg from the hip down to the knee and shinbone. If you do a lot of squats, barre, or running, you will notice that this tissue can get very tight and sore and will oftentimes need to be punched down or massaged out, likely with a long foam roller.
Well, seven years after learning about my own body and parts I didn’t know the names of, I finally injured mine. Since returning to the gym early September, I’ve also started running again. But I don’t think the running is really what set it off. It was likely the running plus some new barre exercises I started. I felt sore after the workout and sore throughout the day, but I thought it was just normal ‘new exercise’ soreness and fatigue. I realized it was far worse than that when in the middle of the night last night, I woke up to a burning sensation on my right IT band. It was so bad that I needed to put an ice pack on it.
Welp. These are the joys of getting older and taking care of that aging body.