Lateral knee pain – sometimes referred to as iliotibial band syndrome/pain (ITBS) – is a common condition that we see regularly at our sports therapy clinic in Guildford. We see lateral knee pain in runners, as well as people from a non-running and even a non-exercise background. If you are experiencing discomfort or sharp pain on the outside of knee during or after running, exercise, or general daily activities (e.g. walking down stairs), it is important to address this issue promptly to avoid further complications. At seventy9 Sports Therapy in Guildford, our team of sports therapists are on hand to diagnose, treat and rehabilitate lateral knee pain in runners and non-runners. This blog post explores the causes of lateral knee pain, effective treatment options and how our sports therapy clinic in Guildford can help you run symptom free.
Understanding Lateral Knee Pain
Lateral knee pain commonly occurs due to irritation and/or inflammation of the iliotibial band (ITB), a thick band of fascia running from the outside of the hip to the outside of the knee. It is a continuation of the fascia of the gluteus maximus and medius muscles, as well as the tensor fasciae latae muscle. Due to the composition of the ITB being mainly collagen (with a small amount of elastin), it is slightly elastic and pliable to help it act like a spring, but importantly does not have the ability to stretch like a muscle.
Common Causes of Lateral Knee Pain
Our sports therapists at seventy9 Sports Therapy highlight several factors that can contribute to the onset of lateral knee pain in runners, including:
- Poor Foot Control: Foot instability can cause a change in knee position during running, as well as abnormal loads at the hip, both of which can increase the load on lateral knee structures.
- Weak Hip Muscles: Inability to produce force and control movement at the hip by the gluteal muscles can increase tension and loading on the ITB and lateral knee.
- Training Errors: Sudden increases in mileage and pace, or inadequate rest can contribute to tendon injuries such as ITBS.
- Improper Footwear: Shoes that are “run out” or have excessive wear can increase the stability and force production requirements for the foot/ankle and hip, contributing to overloading the lateral knee.
Effective Treatment Options at our Sports Therapy Clinic in Guildford
Our experienced sports therapists in Guildford can provide a comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation plan tailored to your specific needs. Some of our treatment options include:
- Rest and Modification of Activities: Giving your knee time to rest from aggravating activities and reduce irritation is crucial for recovery. At seventy9 Sports Therapy, we work hard to keep you exercising around your injuries during times when your injury prevents you from running.
- Soft Tissue Therapy Techniques: Our sports therapists in Guildford employ various soft tissue therapy techniques such as sports massage, myofascial release and trigger point therapy to help reduce the tension on the ITB.
- Exercise Rehabilitation: Targeted strength exercises for the hip muscles can help stabilise the knee on foot strike and during the stance phase of running gait, reducing stress on the ITB/lateral knee.
- Biomechanical Analysis: At seventy9 Sports Therapy in Guildford, our sports therapists can assess your running gait and provide exercises to help improve your technique and reduce stressful load on the lateral knee.
- Education and Prevention: We advise and educate runners on effective warm up and cool down procedures, appropriate footwear selection and gradual training progressions (including during return to running protocols post injury) to minimise the risk of ITB injury recurrence.
If you are struggling with lateral knee pain while running, our sports therapy clinic in Guildford is here to help. Our skilled sports therapists will conduct a thorough assessment, develop a personalised treatment and rehabilitation plan and guide you through the recovery and return to running process. Our comprehensive approach also focusses on long-term injury prevention as we aim to help you return to pain-free running and to reach your fitness goals.
Don’t let lateral knee pain hinder your passion for running. At our sports therapy clinic in Guildford we specialise in diagnosing and treating this common injury in runners. Through a combination of soft tissue therapy, exercise rehabilitation and personalised care, we can help reduce your pain, correct muscle imbalances and provide long-term injury prevention solutions. Take the first step towards pain-free running by contacting our sports therapy clinic in Guildford today, or book your appointment online. Your knees will thank you!