Knee pain is one of the most common injuries described by runners. To understand what factors are causing the issue we need to know whether the pain is at the front, back, inside or outside of the knee. Depending where the knee pain is most acute, the name of the injury or issue can be very different, and be caused by very different factors. If the pain is located on the outside of the knee then we are likely talking about Iliotibial band syndrome (ITB syndrome).
The IT band is one of the many soft tissues around the knee that play a very important role in stabilising the knee. The ITB is a tough fibrous tendon that runs from the top of the outside of the hip to below the outside of the knee. Whenever your knee is bent and under load the ITB contracts and supports the knee.
In simple terms, the ITB is there to assist with knee tracking. If while you run the knee tracks inwards or outwards then the ITB has to work harder to keep the knee tracking straight ahead. This increased workload on the ITB causes it to become tighter and less flexible. This can lead to friction where the ITB brushes against the femur, and is experienced as pain on the outside of the knee.
Knee tracking issues
How can Footpro help?
Analysis: Through the analysis we would look for biomechanical issues relating to foot angle and foot motion rolling inwards or outwards, and also observe any knee tracking and hip instability issues.
Custom Insoles: Footpro custom insoles will support the foot motion and stabilise knee tracking. This will reduce the tension along the ITB, and therefore reduce the rubbing and friction at the knee that is causing pain and discomfort.
Footwear: Incorrect running shoes for your foot type can directly influence ITB Syndrome. Shoes with not enough support can collapse inwards and initiate medial knee tracking issues. Alternatively shoes with too much support can roll the foot outwards and initiate lateral knee tracking issues. Footpro technicians will select a running shoe for you with the right amount of support and cushioning.
Other Advice: Foam rolling massage along the ITB relieves discomfort. Strengthening the muscles that stabilise the hip and improved core strength will reduce the symptoms of ITB syndrome and also reduce the risk of developing it.
Refrain from running on hilly terrain until the severity of the discomfort subsides.