“I’m having some pain on the outside of my knee, especially after I run. Could it be Runners Knee?” -Ashley V.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome, Runner’s Knee, ITBS…Call it what you want, it’s not fun! The IT band is a fibrous ligament, extending on the outside of the pelvis to the lower leg. When this ligament becomes tight, it shortens, and can begin to rub against the lower portion of the thigh bone. This friction often leads to inflammation and irritation, ultimately leading to aches and pain. It is most commonly seen in runners, hence the name, Runner’s Knee. Typical symptoms include pain during flexion or extension of the knee (like during walking or running), relief with rest, pain on the outside of the knee that begins gradually, trigger points along the outside of the leg and into the buttocks, or pain made worse when running or walking downhill.

Although it often happens when activity level is increased too rapidly or with insufficient stretching, underlying weakness of abdominal muscles, pelvic instability/imbalance, or improper foot position (like over-pronation) can also be involved. It can also been seen with tight and/or weak gluteus medius, quadriceps, hamstrings, and adductors, or even simply from running regularly on an oval track.

Rest, along with stretching of the previously mentioned tight muscles and strengthening of the abdominals can go a long way, but may only provide temporary relief. This is because the underlying structural issues must be addressed for any long term improvement. From a chiropractic standpoint, it is of utmost importance to evaluate the function of the lumbar spine, the joints of the pelvis, knee and ankle. Subluxations or misalignments, in these areas can alter biomechanics, causing joint instability and muscle weakness. Chiropractic utilizes specific adjustments to correct underlying biomechanical issues as well as remove pressure on nerves. The restoration of nerve flow to the target tissues and proper joint alignment is an absolute necessity in the healing process of any tissue.

If you think you may be experiencing IT Band Syndrome, give us a call and we can determine exactly what may be causing your issues. Let us help you continue to be active and improve the way you move!