Thursday, August 25, 2011
Knee Pain With Runner: Possible Ilio-Tibial Band Syndrome
Hi Dr. Blake,
I am a runner (no more than 10k races) and have had a pain on the side of knee for the past month or so. I was told that it could be my IT band and to do stretches to help recover from the pain. I run in the City so I thought the pain might also be from running downhill.
Dr Blake's Note: The Ilio Tibial Band runs down the lateral or outside aspect of the leg from the pelvis to the tibia. It most commonly causes symptoms on the outside of the hip or the outside of the knee.
Can you recommend the most efficient stretches and any other suggestions for a quick recovery?
Dr Blake's Note: IT Band Syndrome is almost a pure runners problem. Rarely ever see it in other sports. Here are some common IT Band stretches.
Should I be icing my knee after every run?
Dr Blake's Note: IT Band Syndrome is a form of tendinitis. All the common treatments of Tendinitis should be employed to help. Please see the link on BRISS for tendinitis treatment.
Is it possible that it could be something else?
Dr Blake's Note: Definitely, it is uncommon for women to get IT Band tendinitis around the knee, but not rare. If there is any swelling, it is not IT Band Syndrome. If it does not feel better with stretching during a run (I love the lateral wall lean stretch while running), it is not IT Band Syndrome. It could be lateral knee joint pain, lateral collateral ligament, lateral hamstring, etc to name a few. If the pain is on both knees in roughly the same spot, it is most definitely IT Band.
Would a knee brace be unnecessary if it really is my IT band?
Dr Blake's Note: If it is IT Band, knee braces should not help, and may hurt. If you experiment with a simple knee brace while running, and you feel somewhat better, continue to wear.
It take me a few days to recover from the pain after a run. I have my longest race coming up in September and don't know if it's safe to run because the pain is still bothersome.
Lesley, Thanks for the email. Definitely do not run through pain that starts in the middle of a run.You will definitely make it worse. Stop, try to stretch out the IT Band, and then continue to run only if the pain subsides. If you can get PT for it with the upcoming race, go for it. They can normally calm it down quite well. For a race in September, it is too late to change you biomechanics too much, but is would be okay to make a shoe change if your shoes are too worn down (usually over 500 miles). Hope this helps.