Many runners know this pain: a sharp pain on the outside of the knee. Usually it only occurs when you run at first, but later you also feel it when you climb the stairs or even when you walk. Runner’s Knee, also known as ITBS (Iliotibial Band Syndrome), is one of the most common causes of knee problems and problems that we treat at Woodside.

The iliotibial band (ITB), a thickened strip of fascia, is stretched too tight and can rub on the outer edge of the femur. Most commonly, these problems can be as a result of bad running technique, incorrect training and underdeveloped muscles.

Improve your running technique

Figure out your running form. If you know how you run, you can work on your weak areas. These kinds of analyses are offered, by our sports massage therapist and keen runner Lucy, or you can seek the advice of a running coach.
Run ‘tall’ and upright. Try to stretch to your full height when running (i.e. running tall). This will engage your core, shifts your pelvis into an upright position and reduces the tension on the iliotibial band.
Optimize your coordination. Try running off-road occasionally. Running through woodland can help work the intrinsic muscles of your ankle but all help with balance. This off-road running improves your overall body coordination and boosts your running motor skills.

Do NOT ignore the pain!

If you think you are developing runner’s knee, don’t panic. The rule is to never ignore or “get by” with the pain. It is better to decrease your running volume and get an assessment with an osteopath or sports massage therapist than run the risk of further injuring yourself. By getting it treated, and getting the correct strengthening exercises you have a better chance of running for many more years to come!

Book online here: https://www.thewoodsideclinic.co.uk/book-online

Written by Anisha Joshi B.Ost.Med ND DO