Outside of knee.. Pain only when running.

I have currently had this problem with the right hand side of my right knee for around a a month now. When I'm at work.. When I walk. When I climb stairs.. When I'm resting I can't feel a thing. When I run is when It starts. I can run 7 or 8k before the pain starts. Sometimes I get it at 2k. It usually goes from feeling absolutely fine to quite painful within a couple of hundred yards. Which is when I start to walk. Within a couple of hundred yards of walking the pain disappears again. However if I try to run again in the same session it starts to return. The pain is always on the outside of the knee.

I should probably add... My running shoes are newish.. I've worn two different pairs and had the same problem. I've done quite a bit of stretching over the last few days. As well as an IT Band stretch (Made my knee ache for around 24 hours and was worried it was doing more damage than good). All to no avail. I do a lot of hill running and have had a rest of 9 days with no running at all. Which didn't help. Planning to see a sports physio asap but just wondered if anyone had ever had anything similar and could shed some light.

Any help/suggestions much appreciated..


  • Hi Rob,

    Feel for you, I'm having a similar problem so will be interested to see your responses.

    Did mine on a quick off road 5k I think. Rested for a week, did a bit of swimming, went out for a test run yesterday & after a couple of miles flared up again. Feeling sorry for myself as I want to get my marathon training under way !

    Heard people mention IT band issues.

    Hope yours clears up soon,



  • I would indeed recommend googling   ITB or  IT Band.   Also, do a search for those terms on this forum... there have been many threads.

    It's one of those that (from what I've read) takes a while to sort out... so just because you did things "to no avail"  doesn't mean you weren't doing the right things.  

  • Is the area at all numb? If so, it could be nerve  related, which can be relatively easy to sort. Mine went with some gentle massage (self administered rubbing! ). Probably worth a trip to the physio.


  • Hi all. Thanks for the replies. Ive done quite a bit of googling. Especially on the IT band subject. There seem to be conflicting reports on what is best for treatment. Some websites say rest. Some say rest wont help. Some say you need to do a stretch to stretch the IT Band. Etc..

    I was not convinced either that it was an IT band problem as most other forum posts ive seen say that it is extremely painful all the time. They have problems walking up stairs and bending the knee at a certain angle etc.. . All of which I can do pain free.

    Will certainly read up on the link posted carterusm. Cheers for that

    No numbness Hallam just pain.
  • Rob - I wasn't in pain all the time, only when I was running. The pain would start after 2/3 miles and get progressively worse until it was too painful to carry on. Stairs, bending the knee etc wasn't really a problem for me. So I was in the same position as you are and the physio confirmed it was ITB so I guess people must react differently to it

  • Tbh after initially getting the injury I thought it was my IT band but then after googling I found other people had worse pain doing day to day activities which made me think I had another problem. The annoying this is I can rest it but have no clue if its repaired until I run!
  • I had about 4 weeks from running when I first got the injury. When I started back, after going to physio and doing stretches and strengthening exercises, I would only run for about a mile on grass and very slowly increased the mileage. Sounds like you need to see a physio so they can confirm it is your ITB or tell you what it is

  • Rang around a few physios today and cant get an appointment till jan! So till then ill have to manage it myself and assume it is my iTB.
  • Ok.. so I sat down last night and did a whole load of stretches and strengthing exercises. Just wondered if anyone had experienced a slight bit of pain in the calf area afterwards. Its nothing major but obviously I dont want to do more damage than good..

    Also while looking around last night I found something called a pattstrap. Its basically a strap that sits around your leg above the knee. It apparently stops any iT band pain. Also helps with runners knee. Sounds simple but seems to have good reviews so it must work for people. I have bought one but Im only going to use it as alast resort.
  • Hey Rob,

    Managed to get to see the Doc today re my suspected ITB problems.

    Fortunately the Doc I saw is a marathon runner who had the same problem some years ago !

    After describing my symptoms & a physical examination, he agreed that it's more than likely ITBS. He's referred me for Physio & Acupuncture.

    He said he's a conventionally trained Doc, but when he had his problems his Doc at the time advised Physio & Acupuncture, after which she told him to go for a long run which he was reluctant to do for obvious reasons ! He said he went out for a 15 miler & couldn't feel a thing !

    Whilst I'm sure there's varying degrees of ITBS & effectiveness of acupuncture, I'm feeling more positive this can be sorted soon. He also advised me to keep running, but reduce my mileage for a time.

    Get to your Doc for a proper diagnosis Rob & good luck !

  • Sounds promising Nodster.. I will have to try and get to Dr's before Christmas. I've Joined the gym and am going to do some Cross training for a couple of weeks I think. Just to keep my fitness up. (apparently the cross trainer won't aggrivate ITB). Got a couple of local races in Feb so don't want to take too much time off. I'm doing a lot of Stretches so hopefully that will be enough to calm it down a little too.

    I'd never heard of this injury a few weeks ago, but I've done that much reading on it recently I feel like an expert!! Hope the Physio & Acupuncture works for you mate. Good luck.

  • ITB issues are usually caused by weak hip stablisation/poor biomechanics/bad shoes.

    I have had it at the knee and also suffering a spot of bother with ITB/TFL pain at my hips. Regarding my ITB knee issues a few years ago- I didn't have much pain until I went DOWN stairs and probably 10-20 mins into a run, particularly downhill. Usually no pain at rest nor day to day activities which makes the injury even more frustrating because you think it has cleared up until you run again.

    Mine was solved with rest, change in shoes and really focused on changing my form for the better (I was a heel striker and so much improved post switching to more minimalist shoes/mid foot landing). No knee pain since.

    Skip forward to now and I believe I have a ITB related problem with my TFL (muscle joins the ITB and inserts on your iliac crest). I reckon I have weak hip stablisers (glutes) which puts load on the TFL/ITB complex, this leads to them shortening and getting increasingly overused.

    From experience I think foam rolling + stretching is pretty good with ITB stuff. This treats the symptoms.. but the cause is what you need to also think about.. take a look at your form, invest in new and fitted shoes and maybe look into doing some hip stretches and exercises?

    Hope you feel better soon. it is a bummer and really frustrating, try to rest! 

  • Sorry to hijack your thread, didn't want to start another IT band one.

    Done two half marathons in the autumn & was feeling great, then been stuck with that pain at the side of the knee...

    Taken three weeks off & been to a physio who confirmed it. Been having treatment & he said my glutes are weak, been stretching & strengthening. Went out for a plod the first time yesterday & was in agony all night, but it's not as bad today. I've been using the foam roller & have today found a spot that is particularly sore, sending pains down to my knee. Is this part of the problem too? Somewhere to concentrate on?

    Thing is, I'm doing the London marathon for the NSPCC & I'm starting to flap a bit...
  • G'day LeeH,


    Like I said above, the ITB band (which is actually a fascia rather than a 'muscle' originates from the hip and inserts with a few other muscles onto the 'pes' at the lateral knee. When you foam roll along the ITB yep- pain can radiate down to it's insertion. People usually call this a trigger point- hurts like a mother.

    Advice from physio's and online suggest you should hold the foam roller on the trigger point until release is felt or the pain subsides. From personal experience I have nearly cried with the pressure and logically if the ITB is inflamed, irritating it with aggressive foam rolling seems counter productive. Having said that I think a few times a week foam rolling certainly has helped me.

    I would focus my attention on the cause which the physio told you ie -weak glutes! I am in the same position. Your ITB is tight because it is doing the job of the glutes. Clams, one legged squats, lateral leg raises, the dog peeing position (this is what I call it anyway) are all good for glutes. But you need to do them properly, your body will be used to compensating the movements by recruiting the TFL. This is not what you want to do. 

    Regards to marathon...... rest rest rest. Getting a flare of ITB during a marathon would be my running nightmare.Patience now may result in a faster recovery rather than diving in too soon and having to start from scratch again.

    Good luck

    By the way, this is all my opinion. It's backed up by personal experience. Not gospel! 

  • Been to see Physio today. It is my  ITB band. He basically said I don't need to have any time off. Told me to keep going with the foam roller and gave me some stretches to do and if it's not better in 3 weeks then  to go back for some treatment of some sort. Going to attempt a parkrun tomorrow. Hopefully all goes well.

  • I'm currently suffering with a very similar occurrence of ITBS.  Mine came on after a 10m trail race in October during which I was ascending & descending some fairly steep inclines, in fact I remember thinking "this can't be good for me" whilst my feet were literally "slapping" the hard stone paths on downhill sections.

    Pain started about 30mins after the race, and if anything got worse in the subsequent days.  Walking was almost out of the question, never mind running.  After getting bored with the rate at which it seemed to be healing I contacted a local physio for help.  I've since been strengthening my glutes, stretching my hamstrings and generally trying to improve my balance.  My physio has also been performing a sports massage during each visit.  At first it was still a struggle to run anywhere, therefore I kept myself sane by getting out on my bike which doesn't aggravate the injury at all.  He did however mention that the Cross Trainer should not be used at all.

    The best advice my physio has given me is to not tolerate ANY pain.  He likens ITBS to a smouldering fire, and until the dying embers are completely extinguished it's very difficult to make progress, and very easy to (re)inflame the injury.

    I had thought I was making decent progress after getting out for a couple of 2k(ish) runs and therefore decided to attempt my local Xmas Day Parkrun.  Sadly I only managed one lap (of the three) before having to pull out, I've therefore decided to give it a couple of weeks before trying again, in the meantime getting out on the bike as much as possible (in this weather!)  Looks like the slowly-slowly approach for me.

    All the best in conquering your injury!

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