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ITB Friction Syndrome (pain at side of knee)

ITB friction syndrome causes pain at the outside of the knee and may be accompanied by stiffness, giving way or a clicking sensation and is commonly worse when running, going downhill or down stairs and tender to touch.

Please read how the knee works before reading the following.

ITB friction syndrome causes pain at the outside of the knee and may be accompanied by stiffness, giving way or a clicking sensation and is commonly worse when running, going downhill or down stairs and tender to touch.

The ITB is a tendon-like structure that runs down the outside of the thigh and can become tight or overstretched and rubs on the outside of the knee, causing inflammation and pain.

The TFL is the muscle in the hip into which the ITB inserts. If it is overactive or put under stretch due to incorrect hip and pelvic posture it increases the strain going through the ITB. If the gluts are weak, the TFL is often overactive.ITB pain is normally caused by poor alignment of the hip, knee and foot.Treatment includes adjusting lower limb alignment, improving running technique, giving exercises to strengthen and correct hip and foot alignment and addressing footwear and sometimes providing insoles. Massage, mobilizations and acupuncture are used to release the surrounding areas to take tension off the ITB and TFL. This can also be helped by TFL and ITB release at home.

Please click on the link to learn this TFL and ITB exercise.

Importantly, advice will be given to improve or adjust your running technique or sports technique. Often people with ITB friction syndrome tuck the bottom under too much, so try very slightly sticking your tail bone out whilst simultaneously contracting your buttocks. Make sure the movement is very slight and if you have any discomfort stop immediately. All technique adjustments given should be done very gradually and slowly or you can get injuries elsewhere.

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