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Runners with Knee Pain

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.

Deepen Your Body of Knowledge

Stretches for Runners

More Info on ITB Problems

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.


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