Knee Pain. Treatment for Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome.
Runner’s, Knee pain is the common term for Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome. Runner’s Knee is a painful overuse knee injury that affects the outer part of the knee. It is common in runners and cyclists. It affects around 5% of all runners, while knee injuries in cyclists 20% are diagnosed as Runner’s Knee.
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Runner’s Knee to understand this condition its necessary to be familiar with the anatomy of the outer side of the thigh and knee. The Ilio Tibial Band is a tough length of fascia that attaches to the outer side of the pelvis (The Ilium), goes down the outer side of the thigh and inserts into the outer side of the shin bone (Tibia). The Ilio Tibial Band forms a length of taught fibrous tissue that connects the hip and knee.
The Lateral Epicondyle is a bony prominence that is the widest point of the thigh bone. When the knee is straight the Ilio Tibial Band is in front of the Lateral Epicondyle of the thigh bone and when the knee is fully bent the ITB is behind the Lateral Epicondyle of the thigh bone. During movements of the knee, the Ilio Tibial Band moves over the Lateral Epicondyle of the thigh, with maximum friction at 30 degrees of knee bend.
During activities such as running and cycling, where there is repeated bending and straightening of the knee joint, the Ilio Tibial Band can ‘impinge’ upon the Lateral Epicondyle and the resultant friction can lead to inflammation of the tissues. If the Ilio Tibial Band is tight then the degree of friction is increased and a tight Ilio Tibial Band can predispose people to Runner’s Knee. Between the Ilio Tibial Band and the thigh there is a sac of fluid, called a bursa, which is meant to prevent friction.
However, where there are repeated knee bending movements with a tight Ilio Tibial Band, the bursa can become impinged between the Ilio Tibial Band and the Lateral Epicondyle of the thigh. The bursa itself, as well as the Ilio Tibial Band, can become inflamed and painful. Runner’s Knee Symptoms Typically there is pain located on the outer side of the knee joint.
This Knee pain may radiate up the thigh or down the outer side of the shin and is exacerbated by running or cycling activities. Usually, the pain from Runner’s Knee is only present during activity and settles when the person rests. However, in some cases it can also be extremely uncomfortable going up or down stairs. There is often severe tenderness when the Lateral Epicondyle of the thigh bone is palpated. There is usually maximum friction at the area of the Lateral Epicondyle when the knee is bent to around 30 degrees.