Runners knee?

Could it be runners knee?

A 'take your breath away', clench your fists action, that is all brought about by an immense stabbing pain on the outside of my knee?

The pain was absolutely unbearable and left me hopping all the way home...and still limping today (4 days later).

Does anyone have any ideas? (physio appointment on the way)


  • It'll be Iliotibial band syndrome, or ITBS, sometimes wrongly called runner's knee (which is to do with the tracking of the patella, er, I think).

    Mind you, if it was instant, rather than over at least a couple of mins, it _could_ be something else. I believe it's rare to get anything else with pain on the outside of the knee though. Seek (as you are doing) medical attention. If they don't mention ITBS, you should, though a sports physio would know about it. For an unqualified opinion in the meantime, rest (walk on it as little as possible while it's painful), ice and take anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen?). Best of luck, cos it's a real, erm, pain.
  • Thanks for your reply. Yes it is my ITB, aparently it resembles a bowstring at the moment! Lots of stretching, etc to do over the next few weeks...The phsysio predicted I will be back running sometime around January(!) Blimey, what am I to do?? Take up swimming??

  • Yeah, I know! My ITB's are apparently the tightest my physio's ever seen!
    I embarassingly managed to twang a cruciate ligament whilst swimming as a healthy alternative. Tiddlywinks may have been better.

    Actually, if you're a gym member, those elliptical strider thingies keep you reasonably running fit, and (for me at least) don't ping the ITB.

    Oh, and in the meantime, try to discover whether your running shoes are right for you (or rather whether your running style is OK). Your physio ought to be able to tell from the wear patterns.
  • Yes, the physio recommended keeping fit on one of those strider contraptions. So will give it a go - once the pain goes.

    The cause of my ITB tightness is through having weaker gluts(?) and hip reflexor muscles on my right leg. I also tend to allow my right knee to bend inwards (due to my weak muscles and my foot generally pointing outwards). So all in all I have a lot to sort out I guess.

    On a positive note, my shoes are fine!

    When are you likely to get back running and what sort of 'programme' will you follow to ease yourself back into it?
  • Sounds like you've got almost exactly my symptoms! It's just my right which points a bit outward - I broke my left leg as a kid, and it seems to have been healed in the right direction! I had a very bad ITBS episode in my right in March last year running in cheap 'trainers' not made for running, then came back without sorting things out and did my left (less badly).

    I am actually back running now (though limited on physio's orders). I stopped entirely (for the second time) this time last year, and concentrated on gym work to strengthen me up for running and cricket. I gradually eased into treadmill stuff in the spring (very brief to start with), and played huge amounts of cricket over the summer. On returning to running, my ITB seemed much improved. Concentrated on building up mileage at no more than 10% per week, but after two or three months, I felt a bit of a twinge in my right knee. But plainly the strengthening (or whatever!), plus a slight self-diagnosed change in gait had meant that I was causing way less friction - in the past, it was a pretty sudden decline - so I could happily run through it without it developing further. But that sparked me into getting it sorted out properly. I went to a running shop with a treadmill video gait analysis, discovered that I had collapsed arches that made me collapse inwards (I had no idea before), and discovered that my shoes were totally wrong. Got suitable ones, found a physio, and got into stretches and a bit of strengthening exercise. The shoes in particular made a very big difference. All in all, I'm feeling the ITB once in a while, but as I say, it's not being aggravated much. So I'm currently on 5K every other day (wish I could do more) and trying to get the exercises done. I actually ran a 7-mile race last Sunday week with no hint of ITB pain at all.

    So I'm pretty hopeful, but still a bit worried. It can be a bloody long process, but it seems it can be overcome quickly if you do the right things, as it seems you are doing.

    Sorry about that huge ramble!
  • Our symptons do seem very simular! Even more so now that I have just read your last message. My feet also have collapsed arches which only leads my right knee to collapse inwards even more(!) and to confess, my knee first 'went' trying out shoes that weren't suitable.

    It does sound like a slow process. But as you say, I am doing all the right things. My physio last night said 'I hope you haven't done anything like enter the London Marathon' !! How optimistic is that! ha ha

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