Now there are different type of knee injuries, but today we are dealing specifically with the knee and ITB.
“The knee and ITB” sounds like an intro to a computer course. Sounds funny, but it is no laughing matter to have ITB.
ITB, or Iliotibial Band Syndrome, is something that can cause a runner long-term pain and can stop his running in its tracks. (Pardon the pun)
Why does my knee hurt after running?
If you have had occasion to have sore knees, specifically sore on the outside area of the knee, then you may have a problem with the iliotibial band. This is the tendon that runs along the side of the leg from the hip to a point just below the knee. This band of tissue is what stabilizes the knee during side movement of the body. Problems occur with inflexibility or excessive foot pronation. This can cause irritation to the ITB and lead to considerable pain.
With ITB syndrome, the band of tissue rides over and back across a small bony knot on the outside of the knee during the constant flexion and extension that occurs while running.
As long as the foot is in a neutral position, the knee is aligned correctly between the hip and the foot. The weight of the body actually helps keep a “normal” knee in place, especially when strong quadriceps keep the kneecap tight and in position.
Pronation occurs when the foot rolls from the outside to the inside and is the normal shock-absorbing mechanism when running. However, when it is excessive to the point where the arch is flat or the heel is tilted over, it can cause overuse problems of the foot and leg. The knee can be forced into a position that is out of alignment. As the weight of the body comes down on the improperly aligned knee, problems occur.
Some causes of ITB syndrome:
- Worn out shoes or shoes with inadequate cushioning
- Too much mileage
- Sudden increase in mileage
- Uneven running surface
There are other causes but the above mentioned are the most common.
Keep in mind that the iliotibal band is very strong and will rarely, if ever, give way. It can become inflamed and irritated and cause considerable pain on the outside of the knee.
To prevent this type of injury, make certain your shoes are the right fit and type for your training program. Also, replace them before they wear out! Don’t increase your mileage too quickly and, if you start showing signs of discomfort in the knee, cut back on your mileage and only gradually increase it over a period of time.
Common Knee Injuries
A). Sprains: Pull or partial tear of muscles or ligaments.
1). Rest – 2-3 weeks
2). Crutches or brace
3). Ace and ice
B). Cartilage Tears: The cartilage or meniscus is a soft cushion shock absorber between the 2 bones of the knee. Usually torn by twisting the knee.
1). Knee tendonitis
2). Knee locks or gets stuck
3). Knee arthritis
1). X-ray and MRI to make diagnosis
2). Arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage.
Recovery: by doing Knee Strengthening Exercises usually quick.
C). Knee Cap: “Chondromalacia”
1). Pain and cracking under knee-cap
2). Knee warmers and squatting
1). Knee Strengthening Exercises
2). Avoid excessive bending
3). Brace-Knee Brace for Running
4). Arthroscopic surgery – last resort
D). Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tears: Key internal ligament – serious injury
2). “Trick knee”
1). Specific exercises
2). Sports brace
3). ACL reconstruction
E). Osgood-Schlatter’s: Swelling and inflamation of bump below knee. Affects teenagers.
1). Rest and ice