The fibrous band of tissue called the Ilio Tibial Band (ITB) runs from the buttock along the outside of your thigh and into the knee. ITB Syndrome or 'Runner's Knee' which as its name suggests is common to runners, cyclists and tennis players is an overload or overuse injury.
An increase of training in a short timeframe or increase in the intensity of training can lead to ITB Syndrome and a sign of glute weakness which causes over pronation at the ankle and knee valves. So this is really a chain problem where one muscle weakness can cause issues and pain in other joints.
Generally the first symptom is a sharp pain on the lateral (outside) side of your knee. In some cases the pain travels up to your hip. You'll find that the pain increases when climbing stairs or running or jogging. The pain is most intense at the start of your flexing of the knee. Swelling is not usually a symptom and may indicate a different injury.
Generally the pain will start slowly and build up the more you raise the regularity or intensity of your training/running and is exacerbated by running up hill and walking up and down stairs.
Rest will ease the symptoms quickly. Some research suggests that braces and tapes can provide some minimal short term relief of symptoms. However to solve the problem you'll need to focus on particular exercises to strengthen your glute and correct your running gait.
The following table outlines some key symptoms to look out for in common knee injuries. This table is not a replacement for seeking a professional diagnosis but may help you to identify issues for further research.
My best advice is to seek professional help from a doctor or physiotherapist if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms to correctly diagnose your issue and develop a plan for treatment.
REFERENCES: Mucha MD, Caldwell W, Schlueter EL, Walters C, Hassen A, Hip abductor strength and lower extremity running related injury in distance runners: A systematic review., Journal of Science Medicine in Sports, 2017;20(4):349-355 .Falvey, E., Clark, R., Franklyn‐Miller, A., Bryant, A., Briggs, C., & Mccrory, P. (n.d.). Iliotibial band syndrome: an examination of the evidence behind a number of treatment options. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 20(4), 580–587.
RUNNING! It's a wonderfully addictive sport and as far as km's go you can feel like a kid in a candy store who's saved a tonne of pocket money. We discover new trails and parks, run longer/faster/harder and it almost becomes a game of 'running roulette': how far can we go and still tolerate the impact?
Maybe not straight away but, inevitably, we fall victim to injury and niggles at some point to varying degrees which can be multifaceted in cause.
BUT How do we bounce back safely and effectively without running the risk of re-injury? What does a 'Return to Running' program look like?
Here are my thoughts....
If you are a runner, inevitably someone has said something along the lines of:
"Oh No! Your poor joints. How do your knees hold up?!"
We can often dismiss this, but the question does not go unwarranted....
There IS a knee condition that is close to my heart and can side line you from running which is called patellofemoral pain or RUNNERS KNEE. It doesn't mean you are going to have "bad knees when you're old" but if you ignore this condition it can kneecap your training for months (pun intended) and take the buzz out of your training. Been there.
Here is the low down!
Mobility and stretching shouldn’t feel like a chore. I have learned to actually look forward to it! I know in myself I always feel less of a 90 year old if I take time to do a stretch warm up and also don’t pull up as stiff the next day if I factor in some post run mobility work.
Stretching and mobility is not the golden ticket to running performance enhancement, nor is it the magic pill to injury prevention….
Do I recommend it to clients and factor it into my weekly routine to stay limber and fresh?
Here's is how and why I recommend regular stretching to runners as part of a holistic training program to help with movement efficiency and recovery.....