Are you a runner or other athlete with knee pain?
The most common overuse injury of the knee is iliotibial band friction syndrome (known affectionately as ITBFS). The iliotibial band extends down your outer thigh, crosses the outside of the knee, and attaches onto the outside of your lower leg. If it’s inflamed or irritated you’ll have pain in the outer knee.
- Are there iliotibial band stretches you should be doing?
- What about strengthening?
- Are you wearing the wrong running shoes?
I recently published an article in Current Reviews of Musculoskeletal Medicine titled Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome. It covers these questions and much more.
Iliotibial band friction syndrome (ITBFS) is a painful condition of the outer knee that affects runners, cyclists, rowers, and other athletes who perform repetitive cycles of bending and straightening the knees.
ITBFS isn’t confined to athletes, either. If the balance of your muscles and joints in the lower body is thrown off, you too could be at risk.
There are other painful conditions of the knee that I frequently see in active people. For example, Patellofemoral Syndrome (PFS) is another common problem causing pain in the front of the knee.
And then there are injuries to the knee’s supporting ligaments, including the anterior cruciate ligament (the ACL), wear and tear of the cartilage inside the knee (the meniscus), and other problems too.
Sometimes you need an X-ray or MRI to diagnose these problems, but just as often you don’t. In Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome, for instance, there are no relevant X-ray findings.
In addition to connective tissue treatment, learning proper mechanics of the feet, knees and pelvis is crucial to long-term recovery.
If you have knee problems, the diagnostic process isn’t complete until you’ve found out all you can about optimizing knee function.
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Recommended: Paul Ingraham’s e-book on self-care for IT Band syndrome – only $19.95. Plus – receive a bonus – a second book on self-care for muscle pain.