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Runners knee which shouldn’t be confused with Jumpers knee is an overuse injury of the outer part of the knee whereas Jumpers Knee affects mostly the Patella Tendon. Runners knee also known as Ilio Tibial Band Friction Syndrome mainly affects runners and cyclists. In cyclists it is the top cycling injury making up 25% of all cycling injuries. In runners it is thought to affect up to 10% of all professional runners.
Symptoms of Runners knee often include;
- Knee pain on the out part of the knee this pain may also resonate up into the thigh muscles and down into the shins.
- Pain will usually be worse when bending and putting pressure on the knees for instance in running or cycling.
- Inflammation may also be found around the knee joint as well.
The likelihood of overusing and therefore inflaming the lio Tibial Band can be increased if the band is tight when bending the knee. Runners knee is caused as the Ilio Tibial Band which connects the knee to the hip rubs and creates friction against the Lateral Epicondyle as you bend your knee and the Ilio Tibial Band which is in front of the Lateral Epicondyle when your leg is not bent then goes behind the Lateral Epicondyle, over usage of the knee through constant bending of the knee can cause this friction that is created through this action to cause inflammation.
Leg length discrepancy have been linked to Runners knee. Leg legnth discrepancy place more stress and tightness on the ligaments and tendons in knee and thigh than usual on the longer leg.
Your body has a defence through the Bursa sac located on your thigh to help prevent inflammation through providing fluid to both the lio Tibial Band and the Lateral Epicondyle keeping the tissues in your knees subtle and lubricated helping to prevent friction. However the Bursa’s ability to do this can also be compromised through constant bending of the knee if it becomes impinged between the lio Tibial Band and the Lateral Epicondyle.
Treatment may involve
- Wearing ice packs to bring down inflammation and to promote blood flow to the region.
- Physiotherapy helping to realign and correct alignment and bio mechanical issues that maybe causing the Jumpers knee to develop.
- Physiotherpahy may include knee and leg stretches, aids such as insoles, heel lifts (for correcting leg length discrepancies) and knee straps and supports may also be worn to help correct and realign the knee.
Correcting Biomechnical and postural imbalances can help to prevent runners knee as imbalances can affect things such as tightness of the Ilio Tibial Band which can contribute to extra strain on the and friction. Wearing a knee support can help to correct these imbalances and restore proper functionality of the knee.
Compression found in the knee support can also help to relive the painful symptoms too. Over pronation can also cause tightness of the leg tendons and has been linked to runners knee. Wearing a pair of running insoles that can help to correct pronation can really help.