“When I go for a run, after a certain time, I get a pain below my knee,on the outside edge, near the bony bit that sticks out. It gets worse until I have to stop running and the pain in the knee makes it difficult to walk. I get a similar pain when I walk down a steep mountain path. Sometimes I get a pain up at my hip just before the pain in my knee starts.”
This pain below the knee on the outside edge is known as Runners Knee or Iliotibial Band Syndrome. The Iliotibial Band (IT band) is a thick band of tendon material which runs from a muscle called the Tensor Fasciae Latae in the hip, down the outer edge of the thigh, down to the top, outer edge, of the shin. If this band is tight it rubs and becomes inflamed as the knee bends and straightens.
What are some of the causes?
An over tight IT band
Running in worn out shoes
Weak hip muscles, including the Gluteus Medius
Running around a track in one direction
Over pronation of the foot
Differing leg length
How can Jirou help?
We can assess your injury and identify and address the cause. We can then treat your symptoms. Examples of treatments include Soft Tissue treatments and Trigger Point release of the Glutes, Tensor Fasciae Latae and IT band, hip unwind, strengthening exercises and stretching.
As the IT band is not a muscle but a band of thick tendon material, it is difficult to stretch. Jirou’s Sport Therapist can assist in lengthening the muscles attached to the tendon and the surrounding muscles which will lengthen the unit as a whole. Using a foam roller between treatments will help this process. You may see people lying on a foam roller and quickly moving their leg so the roller moves from the top to the bottom of the side of the thigh and back again. The most effective way however to use a foam roller is slowly, so it moves from the hip, down the outside edge of the thigh to the knee. When you hit a point of soreness stay at that point for up to 10 seconds until the pain reduces before moving on. (If the pain increases do not continue to hold.)
A foam roller is a really useful piece of equipment to have to help with the rehabilitation of a variety of injuries and also to help with muscle function maintenance. Jirou can advise on the best way to use a foam roller as part of your treatment.