Do you get knee pain? Have you not had a fall or injury to cause your knee pain? You may have an overuse condition called Iliotibial Band Syndrome or ITB Syndrome.
This condition is one of the most common causes of lateral (outside) knee pain in athletes, especially runners or joggers.
The iliotibial band is a thick fibrous band of fascia that runs from the pelvis down to the outside of the knee. If you trace along the outside of your thigh from your hip to your knee then you have outlined your iliotibial band (ITB). If you get pain in that area, close to the knee, you may have this common condition.
The ITB is used to stabilise the knee during movement, and its role is amplified with walking or running as there is more friction of the band on the underlying structures around the knee.
Your symptoms may include pain over the side of your knee that builds up or worsens with or after activity. Activities that may aggravate your pain may be running, running down hill, climbing stairs, rowing, hiking or cycling.
The cause of this painful syndrome is usually from poor biomechanics. This means it is important to be assessed by a professional osteopath or chiropractor who will look at your pain pattern, hip range of motion, weakness in gluteal, core, hip muscles and check for leg length difference or a pelvic imbalance.
It is also important to ensure the pain is not referred from the lower back or hip. If there is no pain with lower back movement and no pain with lying on the affected side then there is less likely to be referred pain from an above source. Your health practitioner will do a thorough assessment to help with the diagnosis.
So, avid runners do not worry, this is not the end of your running career! You can get back into running with the correct treatment & management. According to Dr Brian Fullem from “beating the band”, after SIX weeks of proper treatment and management, provided by your health practitioner – including soft tissue massage or foam roller direct to the area, rest and strengthening the gluteal muscles, 22 out of 24 athletes were able to return to running. (beating the band: http;//www.runnersworld.com/injury-treatment/beating-band).
If you are a runner without knee pain there are preventative strategies to avoid this overuse condition. These include stretching before and after exercise (including ITB, gluteal muscles, quads, hip flexor and hamstring), self massage or release work with a foam roller over the ITB (see how to use a foam roller with this link) and gluteal and lower limb stability exercises.
If you are experiencing knee pain or any pain with running then don’t delay. Book an appointment at Body of Life Health Centre for an assessment and you will hopefully be on your way back to pain free running!
Article written by Dr Alexandra Kleydish (Osteopath)
Beating the band: http;//www.runnersworld.com/injury-treatment/beating-band