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The iliotibial band (ITB) is a thick band of tissue that extends from the thigh down over the knee and attaches to the tibia. When the knee bends and straightens, the ITB slides over the lateral femoral epicondyle, the bony part of your outer knee.

Typically the pain is located on the outer-side of the knee joint that may radiate up the thigh or down the outer side of the shin and is exacerbated by running and affects up to 10% of all runners at some stage.

Typical causes include repeatedly running on the same side of a sloped road, anatomical problems such as bowed legs anddifferences in leg length or even excessive pronation (rolling inward) of the foot and ankle. Lateral tilting of the pelvis and weak or tight gluteal or quad muscles are also common culprits.

Increase training intensity gradually: Runner’s Knee is an overuse condition that is aggravated by excessive training. Make sure that you gradually increase your training load by no more than 10% each week. Alternate training can be in the form of core stability or cross training on rest days.

Warm up Stretching the Gluteus Medius and Tensor Fascia Latae muscles may be helpful as a preventative measure. Use a roller to roll out tissue before you start. See Treatment

Wear the Right Shoes: Foot type and motion has an effect so your shoe type needs to be correct. Increased pronation or supination the foot can lead to increased tension in the ITB when running. Check the wear on your shoes and consider orthotics to control motion.

Avoid running on a banked surface: The camber of the road can increase roll out (supination). This increases and stretches the ITB.

Initial treatment
Iceing: Because Runner’s Knee is inflammatory in nature, ice packs are the effective treatment in the early stages. Apply ice packs to the knee for 15-20 minutes, 3-4 times a day.

Comeback Strategy
Orthotics: Critical to long term resolution is to have an assessment of your posture and lower limb alignment. A correction of a leg length discrepancy is highly affective and can be combined with a foot orthotic to correct either supination or pronation.

Medsport is a leading foot & gait analysis centre. Our advanced foot scanning technology combined with appropriate orthotic advice and shoe recommendation offers you a complete foot health package aimed at restoring your body’s natural balance and alignment. Find out more

Use a Foam Roller: Use a foam roller to roll the outer side of the leg to massage the ITB and surrounding muscles. Specific stretching and strengthening exercises are crucial in treating the underlying cause of the problem. Use the roller against muscle knots with your own body weight to generate pressure.

Use a ITB Band: A wrap helps relieve pain or aching on the outer side of the knee will help prevent pain during your run.