IT band and Knee Problems

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30/09/2002 at 10:03
Whilst running one day I felt my left IT band getting a bit tight, I continued running on it because it was at a slow and steady pace but it just developed and within 10 minutes I had a crippling pain around my knee area. It stems from the side of the knee to the front a little and hurts every time I put pressure on it. that was 2 and a half months ago and after seeing numerous physiotherapists and doctors, they have come to the conclusion that it is to do with my IT band being overly tight and rubbing agaist my knee joint as my left leg strikes the ground. I was told that it is a very common injury and that I should be running again within about 3 weeks but as I said, it has been 2 and a half months and there hasn't been any improvement.

All I have been given to do is a few stretches on my left IT band to try and loosen it (which I have done religiously 2 or 3 times a day) and although my left leg is a bit more flexible now I still cannot run and I have noticed no improvement. I am beginning to get concerned about it and I am desperately trying to sort it out in time for the winter which has already started. Can anyone help or recommend a good specialist to go and see? At this moment I would do ANYTHING to get it sorted because this has come on the back of other injuries lasting for over 10 months now!


30/09/2002 at 21:13
Hi Ian.

I've had IT band problems which have been alleviated by sports massage.

Try to get a personal recommendation for a sports masseur, either another runner or the lcoal running club.

I personally think that stretching on its own doesn't do much good, it needs to be combined with massage.

Where are you located? I could recommend my physio if you are in London/SE.


30/09/2002 at 22:21
Hi Parsley,

Thanks for the advice. I have had one sports massage before in my life but at the time it wasn't for an injury. After I came out though I felt injured! They really like getting in among the fibres don't they?

I live in Guernsey so unless I made a trip over to London I couldn't really go to see your physio but I am over every so often for various thing so if you can give me a contact name and address etc then I'll give it a go when I'm next over. Until then I'll try and find some recommended sports physios and masseurs over here.

Thanks for the advice.

30/09/2002 at 22:45
Ian, I'll email you his details if that's ok. If you want to see him, you'll need to book a while in advance - he's a popular man!

30/09/2002 at 22:50
yeah that's fine. My email is:

I'll have to book well in advance anyway if I'm travelling over.


01/10/2002 at 22:48
i had itb problems last year and can sympathise because at the time i too felt it would never go away. i'd agree that sports massage was essential to my recovery, it will hurt (a lot!) but is worth it. as has been suggested try to get someone by recommendation, maybe through your club. boring, but true, is building up your running really gradually as part of rehab, and for me, strengthening the quads with visits to the gym. not rocket science, i'm sorry, but hope this offers some sense of light at the end of the tunnel!
01/10/2002 at 23:47
I found that rest from running for a while, cross training, rowing and recumbant bike,and stretching all helped eventually. Are your stretches just for your knee or for the upper section of the ITB also? Try stretches for your hips and glutes to get an overall effect.
Good luck and keep going.
02/10/2002 at 08:40
Thanks for the advice, I'm open to any and all at the moment. Like I said it's been over 10 months of injury for me now so I'm getting really depressed with it and willing to try anything. I'll definately try some sports massage and I've been doing stretching and strengthening work every day. I also go to the gym every other day and make sure I do a reasonable amount of leg work. I cross train also and am able to cycle and swim without any problems.

Does anyone know though how long it is likely to last for? How long did your individual IT band injuries last for? I would like to have some kind of a target.


02/10/2002 at 10:06

I had ITBS earlier this year. After hobbling around for a month I finally abandoned my plans to run the London marathon and got treatment. After 2-3 weeks I thought my physio had fixed me. Then broke down again on a 4 mile run. Decided to rest and stretch, stretch, stretch. Was OK within 3-4 weeks and gradually started rebuilding my mileage.

Sounds like your problems are taking longer to go away. When I was suffering I discovered that in the US lots of people seem to use PattStraps. Have you heard of those? I saw quite a few people running the New York marathon with them and wondered what they were. Maybe you could check it out. The link is:

02/10/2002 at 11:45

Listen man, if its hung around this long it probably means the cause of the itb friction is due to faults in other structures (bow legs, a "short leg", collapsed arches, etc.). To fix my itbfs I had to get orthotics and even then a "varus wedge" to get my foot to land so the itb wasn't rubbing on the knee. very often upper leg and knee injuries can be traced to what are broadly called "flat feet". My advice:see a podiatrist.
02/10/2002 at 13:25
Hi Slip,
Sorry to hear that you have had this for so long. My physio solved this problem for me by taping my knee into a more central position because the It band was tight and pulling it out laterally. This along with the usual stretches etc. seemed to work within a couple of weeks.
02/10/2002 at 13:33
Although I've been injured now for about 10 months on and off it has only been the last 2 and a half months with ITBS. The physio I've seen tried taping it to a more central position. I found this slightly easier but a knee support was just the same and was easier to just put on and take off when you wanted.

I've been checked for any leg or structural abnormalities but I've been told that I'm fine. I've even been to see a specialist who practices the bowen technique and was told that my legs, hips and body etc were all perfectly aligned and in-balance. After reading up on the injury and getting advice I think that there were a few contributing factors.

My feet don't land "flat" on the floor when i run though, they kind of slope to outside so the outside gets the first impact with the foot rolling to the flat position. (sounds dodgy but it is subtle). Not sure if this could be anything to do with it but I've never had any problems before. I think it's called "over pronating" or something like that. Anyone know anything about that?
02/10/2002 at 13:47
Like you I also over pronate........perhaps this could be part of the problem.
I was given excercises to try and combat this problem at the same time of my IT band problem.
Are your current shoes worn down on the outer side. Mine wear down quite quickly (every day shoes and trainers) and this does seem to put additional pressures on the lateral side of the legs.
02/10/2002 at 14:00
Is'nt landing on the outside of the foot "supinating"? That's what I was doing with my itbfs leg. The varus wedge helps point the knee inwards (stops my bandy - leggedness) and relives the friction on the itb. Still sounds like you've to get your feet checked for orthotics. Its your call.
02/10/2002 at 14:12
Hi all

Landing on the outside of the foot and not rolling inwards enough is called "supination". A visit to a podiatrist who can make correctly fitted orthotics should sort this out. It worked for me and cured my crippling shin splints.

You will probably need to run in a neutral shoe so that the orthotic can do its stuff - Nike Air Pegasus is one recommendation, but be guided by the podiatrist.

It took a year for the podiatrist to get the right "fit" for my orthotics, but it was worth the wait.

02/10/2002 at 18:50
S, G and P
Yep, my apologies, supination is how my foot lands.

16/09/2003 at 10:38
I had this exact same injury and thought it would never go away. I did some searching on the web and found that this pain is very often referred pain from bad mobility in the hip. I started to stretch my glutes thoroughly and within days was running without pain again. There are a number of stretching exercises that go beyond just simply stretching the ITB. They can be found on the Web.
Good Luck.
16/09/2003 at 20:07
I've had ITB trouble since last december. I've done pretty much everything thats been suggested by previous messages, physio, stretching, got orthotics had a corti-steroid injection etc And i can honestly sympathize. ITBS is one complicated problem the only thing that doesnt seem to have been been suggested is taping ABOVE the knee. My physio suggested this, A band of zinc oxide tape across the ITB about 3 fingers width above the knee cap going 3/4 of the way round the leg (i'd recommend taping ontop of some light strapping or man will it hurt to remove!)
I did this after three weeks of running with major ITB pain and it enabled me to run 24 miles over dartmoor having been unable to walk prior to it. (not that i would recommend training with acute ITBS but it emphasizes the point)
Hopefully my description hasnt baffled u too much i havent got much of a way with words! hehe Any questions u know where i am.
good luck.
17/09/2003 at 12:48

Have you tried exercises to strengthen the inner quads? They worked for me. Leg extension on the weights machine worked wonders. I also got a pair of ready made £30 orthotics from a running shop as I overpronate.
17/09/2003 at 12:51
Forgot to say that during the leg extensions the legs should be turned slightly outwards.
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