One major cause of outside knee pain is iliotibial band syndrome. This is the most common cause of knee pain on the outside of the knee in sports.

There are 3 usual causes of IT band syndrome in runners: training errors, hip weakness or poor mechanics.

Common training errors include:

  • Increasing miles/speed too rapidly
  • Improper footwear
  • Inconsistent running

Poor mechanics is common in beginner runners which explains the increase in IT band syndrome in this population.

Poor mechanics can include:

  • Not keeping knee in line with ankle and hip
  • Excessive pronation
  • Excessive forward bending at the waist
  • Not using full hip extension to push-off

These problems can be easily seen and treated with a high-speed video analysis and thorough musculoskeletal assessment.

Treatment for iliotibial band syndrome may include:

  • Stretching joints or muscles to increase range of motion
  • Running specific strengthening exercises
  • Neuromuscular coordination training exercises
  • Running form retraining exercises using a mirror

If it doesn’t get better on its own, does treatment work?

Many research studies have looked at whether strengthening and/or running retraining works and the results are a resounding “Yes.”

Clients with knee pain consistently return to full pain-free running with this combo approach. Usually the results are in a relatively short period of time (2-4 weeks depending on severity).

Do not just accept knee pain with running. Its solvable nearly 100% of the time.

Dr. Eric Schweitzer, DPT

Founder at IdealRun
Doctor of Physical Therapy, author, professor, runner and triathlete – has practiced physical therapy for more than 15 years.He runs a successful physical therapy practice, Premier Physical Therapy, located in Clearwater, Florida and is the founder of IdealRun a personalized online running gait analysis.
Dr. Eric Schweitzer, DPT

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