ITB (iliotibial band) syndrome is the most common cause of pain on the outside of the knee. It is also the 2nd most common knee injury in runners.
The ITB is a large sheet of connective tissue. It extends from the pelvic and hip muscles to the bony structures on the outside of the knee. It is known as ITB ‘friction’ syndrome due to a belief that friction on the outside of the knee causes the pain and inflammation. More recent research suggests that compression against a fat pad is the cause of the pain.
Running biomechanics may play a role in the development of the ITB syndrome. Tilting of the pelvis and a tendency for the knee to point inwards may increase compression from the ITB. These biomechanical faults may be due to weakness in the gluteal muscles. It is also possible that poor supporting shoes play a role. Therefore, we advise to have your shoes checked by an expert such as a podiatrist or physiotherapist.
The good news is that strengthening of the hip muscles may improve your biomechanics and reduce your pain.
The program within TrackActive Me will guide you through exercises for you to strengthen these muscles. You will need to stick to them for several weeks to see a real change.
It is important while doing this program to reduce or avoid running until you have improved your strength. Once you have, start to increase the duration and speed of running. You should keep a day in between runs to recover. In the meantime, make sure you keep active with other exercises and activities that don’t cause you pain. Swimming and exercises that don’t involve running are a good idea. You can also choose from our library of pilates, stretching and upper body strengthening programs. Just select ‘Stay Strong and Healthy’ in the TrackActive Me chat feature.