Runner’s Knee, or Iliotibial band Friction Syndrome (ITBFS), is a painful overuse knee injury that affects the outer part of the knee.
Common in both runners and cyclists, pain usually starts as intermittent pain, sharp in nature and very focal. If this pain, is ignored, it can develop into a dull ache even when you are not running or cycling, becoming painful when climbing up or down stairs.
Physiotherapist Catherine McLean says that the two main causes of ITBFS are inappropriate training and abnormal biomechanics.
Weakness in the gluteus medius muscle, located the top of the buttocks can caused ITBFS in distance runners. If the muscle is weak, then the tension in the ITB is increased. Your physiotherapist can create a strengthening program to target this muscle, helping you gain strength and improve your running.
Catherine suggests that before cycling, you should check your bike setup, especially saddle height. Too high a saddle will increase knee extension and irritate the ITB. If the sadde if too far back, having to reach further for the pedal will also stretch the ITB and possibly lead to irritation.
Treatment from your physiotherapist will assist in the prevention and rehabilitation of Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome.
Ask your physiotherapist for stretching and strengthening exercises to help you recover quickly and avoid further injury in the future. Remember to stretch before and after activity, use ice to decrease pain and inflammation and take the time to rest your body, allowing it to fully recover.