Question:

Dear TAI Experts:

I have pain on the outside of my knee when I run- and only when I run. I’m 99% sure that it’s a ITBS, but, even with rest, it’s not going away. What would a physical therapist be able to do to expedite my recovery (that I couldn’t just do at home)?

Answer:

Although I am unable to provide specific information regarding your knee without doing an examination, I can provide you with some general information. Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) is typically addressed through an appropriate stretching program, which should be performed dynamically before running and statically after running. Other interventions include hands-on treatments to the IT band to improve the flexibility and extensibility of the tissue, thus reducing the friction process.

A physical therapist is qualified to perform a detailed examination of the knee joint and will ensure that the knee, hip, and ankle are functioning properly as a unit. Until seeking further treatment, it may be beneficial to use a cold pack over the outside of the knee for 10-15 minutes when painful, as this is generally an inflammatory process. It is also recommended to not run through knee pain, as this may prolong recovery time.

Brent McLeod PT, DPT