MOVE BETTER. LIVE BETTER.
Is your pain really coming from your knee?
Many runners suffer from runner’s knee, also known as iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS). The iliotibial (IT) band originates in the pelvis as the tensor fascia lata (TFL). The TFL can become overused when we don’t use enough of our glutes during activities. The gluteus medius is an important lateral hip stabilizer, but since running is a strictly forward motion, this muscle can become underactive. When the gluteus medius becomes weak, the TFL has to carry the load. Eventually, though, the TFL can’t handle the burden, and runners will start to notice pain at its attachment at the kneecap. The IT band attaches to the lateral patella. If the IT band becomes excessively tight, it can pull on the patella, leading to knee pain.
To treat this condition, the IT band needs to be stretched and lengthened. More importantly, however, the gluteus medius muscle needs to be strengthened. By strengthening your glutes, you decrease the load to the TFL and IT band. Also, when running, keep your knees in line with your toes. Your knees may be falling inward, also placing strain on your knees.
Come to Stretch Pro to have an evaluation by a physical therapist so that we can create the right plan for you to get you back to running pain free!
By Ryan Kahanu, PT, DPT