Running 10km – Knee Pain
Knee pain. My last post about potential running injuries has caught up with me over the past few runs. You can go back and have a look at that here, Running 10km – Running Injuries. The injury has slowed down my progress a fair bit with my max distance over the past week being 2km. Below I’ll run through what happened, how I came to my diagnosis and what I plan to do about it.
About 2 weeks ago I had to run a 7km. About 2km in I noticed a dull ache on the outside of my left knee. This lasted for about 1km and then went away, so I finished the run. However, the next day I was running late for work and went to jog out to my car. I instantly had sharp, stabbing pain in the same spot as during my run. I had 3 days till my next run so I decided to give it some rest and see how it went then. No good. I pulled up sore at 2km and couldn’t go any further.
I decided to properly assess the pain. It was on the outside of my knee, it was sore to press on, it hurt with repetitive knee bending, specific positions made it worse and I have poor gluteal control. This led me to the diagnosis of Illiotibial Band Friction Syndrome (ITBFS). ITBFS occurs when your ITB (a band that runs down the outside of your thigh) is tight and rubs across a bony prominence on the outside of your knee. Generally the ITB gets tight if it is compensating for poor glute strength/control. Normal management is rest and specific exercises. This post here goes into a bit more detail, ITB Friction Syndrome.
Step 1 is about resting and allowing the local inflammation to subside. Therefore I have been restricting myself to 2km runs after I rested for a week, I aim to step that up weekly. Step 2 is about decreasing the tension in the ITB. For that I have been torturing myself with a foam roller (I’ll put a video of this on our YouTube channel later today) and doing some stretches. Step 3 is addressing the underlying impairment – poor hip stability. As I mentioned above, my stability problem was from weakness and poor control in my hip muscles, glutes in particular. I started my rehab by isolating these in side-lying and I am progressing to more running-specific exercises. At the moment I am doing squats with a theraband and monster walks (YouTube videos are coming). Hopefully, with my new warm-up and cool-down routine, I will be able to pick up the distance again, aiming to complete my 10km before the end of this month. For the perspective of another physio who suffered from ITB Friction Syndrome check out this 2 part post by Sean McBride, My battle with ITBS by Sean McBride – Part 1 The Problem. Happy Running.
If you are developing any knee pain with running then book online and see a physiotherapist to get you back on track as soon as possible.