Pain in on outside of knee, below patella - advice needed!

I recently began upping my mileage in prep for a half marathon in May, and after a few 5 milers I noticed a dull ache in my right knee. After running 7 miles last week the ache became more painful, especially when walking down stairs. The next day it hurt a bit just to walk on, and definitely was not helped after a spinning class two days later (knee clicked above the knee cap at heavier resistance). I still have what is now just a dull ache again, having not trained since the soin class yesterday. I don't really know what it is (a friend reckons it's ITB syndrome) and why I have it.

A few years ago I ran a half marathon, and there are only two differences in my training: 1) I have a softer running shoe (I used a pair of train running shoes for the previous one, never had a problem but switched to more 'road-friendly' shoes), and 2) I am doing much more cross-training now, e.g. weights, spin, intervals.

Does it sound like ITB syndrome? Could this be a result of softer cushioned shoes? Or just needing to stretch more? How do I treat it?

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.


  • kaffeegkaffeeg ✭✭✭
    I don't know, is my first answer, helpfully.

    My second answer is, you say the only difference between your training from your half marathon a few years ago is your shoes and cross training. You're also a few years older and that is a difference too. It takes our bodies longer to get used to the increase in training.

    You say you increased your training. Have you increases too fast?

    I haven't got a clue what you have, but my advice would be to rest. Your half marathon is in may, so you loads and loads of time to train.

    How often are you training? Are you over doing it all? Do you have rest days?

    I would take a few days off or a week off from ALL exercise. I would ice my knee a couple of times a day. I would stretch. And if no better, I would then go see a Physio.
  • Try pressing gently on your kneecap and bending and straightening your leg. If you feel a scraping sensation in your knee, then it is probably patellofemoral syndrome or chondromalacia. Sorry if the spelling is not quite right but Google them. Loads of info.
  • I know everyone's pains are not the same but I get a really painful left knee after spinning.I always thought it was 5a side that did it so I gave that up for a bit but it didn't help. Twice be given up spin for 3 months plus and both times its sorted my knee.

    My pain used to be at the front under the kneecap and it used to be so tender for a day or two and walking up steps/stairs was always the most painful. Hope u find the cause!
  • I had the same sort of pain, Physio has diagnosed runners knee (patellofemoral wotchamacallit to the fussy). I would get a professional opinion of some kind before trying to fix it.

  • Thanks for all the response. kafeeg: I have 2 full rest days a week (i.e. no exercise), and although I have increased mileage recenty I have tried not to do this too quickly. 

    I have only trained threesessions this week, and did nothing with my legs for 4 days, taking care to stretch each day. I did a gym session yesterday with running, stair climbing and step, and the knee seems ok. I have switched back to my old shoes, which have less cushioning, and also concentrated on running form - i noticed I haven't been swinging my arms so not sure if this has anything to do with it?

    I have an 8 mile race next Sunday, and will run a short 4 miler midweek, hopefully all the stretching will sort it out!

    Thanks for the helpful comments, fingers crossed the pain doesn't return!

  • Sounds like ITBS to me, I had pain in exactly the same area last year. I agree with Nicky mcn, you really should see a physio for an accurate diagnosis. If it is ITBS, get yourself a foam roller, to be honest, even if it isn't, foam rollers are a great tool for keeping your muscles in good hope anyway!

    Good luck!
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