You love to run…. You can run for miles. It is all going well…. Until that dreaded lateral knee pain kicks in!
When it comes it stops you in your tracks. You can’t walk down the stairs. You can’t walk down a hill.
You have tried foam rollers, you’ve stretched your glutes. But still it persists.
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING, and WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?
Lateral knee pain is a common problem experienced by runners (and non-runners). It is often due to an overload of the bursa (fluid sack) which is situated between the ITB (iliotibial band) and the outside of the edge of the femur. The femur widens at the bottom of the bone, so it is quite close to the ITB at this point. Anything that creates tension through the ITB, can cause increased friction at this point and result in pain.
The three most important relationships to the lateral knee are the foot, the hip and the pelvis. These three key areas need to be functioning properly to share the load at the knee. Your physio’s job is to closely assess these areas for a lack of mobility or control.
The key to successfully treating lateral knee pain is understanding WHY the lateral knee is being overloaded in the first place. Identifying the structure that is inflamed in the knee is the easy bit. Identifying the REASON WHY this is happening can be a little trickier.
SOME COMMON CAUSES OF LATERAL KNEE PAIN
- Old, poorly rehabilitated ankle sprains. (These are really common!)
- Fixated or locked sacro-iliac joints. (Following previous falls or trauma)
- Restrictions in the muscles of the hip.
- Poor movement patterns at the hip, resulting in increased tension at the lateral hip.
- Imbalances in the strength of the muscles surrounding the knee.
- Tensions or restrictions arising from previous knee joint injuries.
Physiotherapy treatment is initially directed at giving some immediate relief from your pain. This may include local treatment – soft tissue release, and taping.
Further treatment needs to address the underlying cause – (which is unlikely to be at the knee!) Physiotherapy uses manual therapy and stretching to improve mobility, training to improve movement patterns, and strengthening exercises to restore normal control.
Synergy Physio Co offers experienced management of sports and overuse injuries. Our focus is on identifying and treating the underlying cause of your symptoms to give you the best results. Our innovative approach is sure to get you back running painfree!