The medical term for runners knee is Ilio Tibial band Frictions Syndrome and is caused when the Ilio Tibial band becomes inflamed due to friction from moving your knee. As you move your knee joint theiliotibial band which connects the shin bone moves forward to help to the hip bone can rub against other ligaments found in the knee. The bursa sack found in your knee will keep the Iliiotibial band moist and subtle to reduce friction, however this is often not enough when playing sports or using your knees too excessively.
- Loss of stability in your knee
- Pain when bending your knee
- The outer part of your thigh will be tender when touched
The illiotibial band will move from behind the femur bone to in front of it when you bend your knee as the band rubs against the lateral femoral epicondyle causing friction on top of the constant changes in shape the band can become inflamed and result in Ilio Tibial band Friction Syndrome.
When the Ilio Tibial band Friction is tight you have a greater chance of developing this injury as the band is at greater risk of tearing, inflammation and damage this is why it is important to stretch the Ilio Tibial band thoroughly before exercising the legs and knees.
Runners knee will usually result in pain on the outside of your thigh which will get worse as your bend your knee. You may also feel tenderness around the thigh muscles as well as tightness.
Those who have a naturally tight Ilio Tibial band or bend their knee fairly frequently under stress such as runners and cyclists have a much higher risk of developing Ilio Tibial band Friction Syndrome.
It is also thought that those who run with over pronation (this is because those who over pronate cause the foot to roll inwards this creates tension in the legs and Ilio Tibial band increasing the risk of friction to the band as you walk or run), those with muscles imbalances also have are at greater risk of developing Ilio Tibial band Friction Syndrome as well.
- Shock has been known to increase friction and damage to tendons in the knee. This means that running on softer surfaces can reduce the shock impact on your legs and knees as you run.
- Wearing knee supports with compression and support help to reduce tension and tightness in the knee and leg muscles
- Correcting pronation in the feet. Orthotic insoles are widely used to help correct pronation in the feet through the use of arch support. High or low arches can contribute to over pronation when walking or running. Wearing supportive insoles can also help to reduce tension and tightness in the plantar fascia which connects to your Achilles tendon. A tight plantar fascia has been known to cause tightness in other ligaments and tendons in the legs.
- Foam roller exercises are also advised. By rolling on foam rollers you can stretch out the muscles in your thighs, getting rid of tight knots in your thigh muscles can help to prevent the Ilio Tibial band from also becoming tight and can help with the flexibility of you legs and knees.
If it is too late and you are already suffering from runners knee you may want to apply ice packs onto your affected thigh to reduce pain and to soothe swelling and inflammation. Please do not directly place the ice packs on your skin but instead place the ice pack in a towel when applying. You should apply the ice every 20 minutes for a couples minutes for effectiveness.