What is Runners Knee?
Runners Knee is usually felt as diffuse pain on the outside of the knee. Many times runners with the condition may feel the pain more when running downhill and during the ‘swing forward’ phase of their gait. Sometimes Runners Knee will be accompanied by repetitive snapping felt in the knee during walking or running. Despite the name, Runners Knee can happen to anyone – not just runners. Runners Knee is sometimes called ITB Syndrome.
What causes Runners Knee?
The injury is not due to direct trauma to the knee, but usually comes from overuse. A long fibrous tendon (called the Iliotibial Band) runs along the outside of the leg and attaches on the lateral knee. This band can get irritated with high amounts of knee bending (running, biking, etc.) and can cause pain, snapping and stiffness. Underlying causes may include: over training, abnormal knee/feet biomechanics, poor shoe shock absorption, ACL laxity, incorrect bicycle seat/foot positioning, muscle imbalance.
How do I get rid of Runners Knee?
- Ice, Rest, Compress, and Elevate is appropriate for acute episodes
- Decrease leg exercise level, avoid running downhill, decrease mileage
- Ice or ice massage after activity
- Correct Bicycle adjustment – bike shop staff may help
- Correct shoe support
- ITB brace (worn above the knee) may provide relief while exercising
- To stretch your ITB, stand near a wall or a piece of sturdy exercise equipment for support. Cross your left leg over your right leg at the ankle. Extend your left arm overhead, reaching toward your right side. You’ll feel this stretch along your left hip. Hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds. Switch sides and repeat. This should be done before and after exercising.
- *If home treatment does not work after 1 week, consider visiting a chiropractic physician or other physical medicine doctor who can offer muscle therapy/massage, electromodalities, taping, manipulation, and stretching therapies.
What if self treatment doesn’t work? Are there other treatments?
physical medicine (chiropractic, physical therapy, etc.). Treatment may include:
- Myofascial release treatment ( instrument assisted massage)
- Knee. Hip, Foot physio- therapy/manipulation/exercises
- Muscle stimulation therapy
- Kinesio Taping