This is what I look like after experiencing 5 bliss-filled miles of pain-free running.
Two thumbs up, man.
And no, this picture was not taken 2 months ago, pre-IT band weirdness. It was taken last night, post-run, and I was happy.
Can you tell?
How bout now?
I know this pic is blurry. But, it's blurry because I was dancing. And I was dancing because I was happy. So, despite my aversion to all blurry pictures, I'm posting this blurry picture on the basis of principle alone.
Because, I RAN MORE THAN 3 MILES, DAMMIT!
All happy dancing aside, the reasons why I was able to run 5 miles with no pain are simple (yet so very complicated)...
- I rested for 3 weeks, despite the fact that I have a marathon in 10 days (breathe in...breathe out...).
- I have been wearing my Cho-Pat Strap regularly.
- I inserted my orthopedic insoles back in my running shoes this week (uh...duh).
Now, since I can so confidently tell you that the Cho-Pat ITB strap works, here is my full and honest explanation...
Under the suggestion of my physical therapist, I ordered a Cho-Pat IT Band strap online. Within 4 days after ordering, I had it in my hands (quick delivery...check).
The premise behind the Cho-Pat ITB strap is that by compressing the IT Band in just the right place, the strap effectively alleviates the symptoms of IT Band Friction Syndrome (i.e...stabbing, jabbing, knife-cutting pain). By alleviating the pain, one is usually still able to maintain a certain amount of activity while the cause of the IT Band inflammation is addressed.
The location at which you wear the strap is a personal choice, but most chose to wear it just above the knee, or just below the hip. According to my physical therapist, these seem to be the two points where one benefits the most from ITB compression.
This is where I wear mine...
You'll notice that mine is neither just above the knee nor just below the hip. It's mid-thigh. Because I'm frickin weird, ok? I've learned to live with the weirdness.
Please also notice that I ordered a size medium Cho-Pat strap, and it is too small for my man-sized legs. I'm going to order another in "large" today. Because it's necessary.
The proof that the Cho-Pat really (really) works came for me last Friday. I went outside and tested out the leg with a 3 mile run. Everything was fine until the very end of the run, and then it started to get strange. By the time I got home, I was in full-on pain mode. I forgot to wear my Cho-Pat Strap. As soon as I got home, I put the Cho-Pat strap on and iced my fibular head for 10 minutes.
Within a minute after I put the Cho-Pat strap on, the pain was completely gone. This thing is no joke, man.
I can't argue with Cho-Pat.
Cho-Pat has a full line of sports medicine products similar to the ITB Strap. If you need to order any of their products, you can get 10% off by using coupon code CHP001, which is good until November 1, 2009.
Even if I don't wear it in the right place, it still works. Gotta love that.
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