ITB shifting kneecap

I'm hoping that somebody here can help me. My tale is as follows :

Recently I've been running up to 11 miles without incident. However, last Friday evening, my gait seemed to self-destruct after about 1.5 miles and everything (knees, shins, ankles & feet) hurt. It felt as though my left foot was just slapping down, as though it were a lead weight rather.
Tried another run over the weekend but got the same result.

Last night, the physio said that my ITBs are tight but that stretching won't help. Said that it's something to do with the nerves sending too many messages and the ITB spasming in response. Seems to mess up my biomechanics quite spectacularly by dragging the kneecaps outwards.

Anybody know about such a problem and how it can be treated?
She taped my knees to try and hold the kneecap in place which worked for a small run last night but tonight the gait just disintegrated again at about 1.5 miles.

All suggestions (apart from defering, of course) would be most welcome.


  • Hey Jones

    Only just picked this one up. I had problems with my right ITB a couple of years after cruciate surgery. I received physio and acupuncture on it for about six months. It did ease up a bit but I stopped going and its getting worse again. I am also marathon training and I don't think thats helping.

    I'd maybe get a second physio opinion - there are alot of exercises you can do which will ease it but I don't think my knees were as bad as yours.

    Not very helpful response but I think you might be able to find a more proactive physio who could get you back on your feet.

    I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!
  • As a physio I have to admit that ITB problems can be frustrating and take a while to resolve. Although taping can help reduce the symptoms it does not always solve the source of the problem. Which usually originates from muscle imbalances around the hip and pelvis. You may want to discuss this with your physio or seek a second opinion. Often no quick fix
  • As has been mentioned already, ITB problems can sometimes have no quick fix. Maybe this is because 'ITB' is often used by various people in various different ways to cover a multitude of different injuries. Also, from my understanding of the problem, there can be a wide variety of causes as well - some easy to solve, some not.

    I suffered badly with ITB in my preperation for my first FLM in 2001. My usual daily runs of 9 miles would end in agony after about 3 miles, with a really tight ITB in my right leg and the same feeling as you that my right foot was 'whacking' the tarmac too hard. I tried insoles, running only on grass - anything to reduce the impact, but to no avail. I had to stop running for a whole month in the late December/early Jan.

    An Orthopaedic specialist told to not even think about running a marathon and that my problem was self-inflicted cartiledge damage due to high mileage (ie a sort of "if God had meant us to run marathons...." type approach). He wasn't interested in the root cause of the problem.

    It was only when I went to see an Osteopath 'off my own bat' that he measured my legs, told me I had a leg length discrepancy and possibly a teenage rugby injury wasn't helping (I was 34!!!). He was very holistic, and asked LOADS of questions before he even touched the injury.

    He started a course of manual massage and electrical stimulation to break down scar tissue that had been caused by the problem. He considered a heel lift, but in the end I didn't need one.

    I was running again within a week of my first treatment, and after three weeks back to full training levels.

    Now your problem is almost certainly different, but if it lifts your spirits any, I ran a 2:58 marathon in 2001 and have done the FLM twice since and will be going for it again this year.

    So don't give up just yet. Sorry for the length of this post, but in short, my suggestion would be see an osteopath.
  • Thanks for all the advice. It has been really helpful.

    I'm just back from my sports masseur (who is 2 months from qualifying as an osteopath) and, after analysing my running on a treadmill, he worked out that the problem is actually due to my right shoulder and back muscles being far too tight.
    These muscles are twisting my pelvis out of alignment which in turn is ruining the motion of my left leg.

    He did a very deep (and quite painful) massage down the muscle route from the shoulder to leg and also worked on the hamstrings and calf muscles.

    As a result, I'm feeling a bit achy but more flexible. Tomorrow morning I'm off for a slow 2 miles or so to see how it goes.
    Also, I've got a couple of physio and osteopath appointments next week to improve the mobility of the vertebrae.

    Together with a much better stretching regime, this will hopefully set me back on track.

    Thanks again for taking the time to help me out.

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