Bob Hart wrote...

Forwarded from: Bob Hart Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio USA

For all those who admitted interest in the trials and tribulations of my once very painful knee (yup, it don't hurt no more!), there follows a quick synopsis as well as an overly detailed account of my bout with my rebellious Iliotibial Band (ITB). For those with barely a passing interest:

  • My right knee started hurting.
  • Saw many expensive doctors and specialists.
  • Stretched, took drugs, wore an elastic knee brace.
  • Ran 7 miles last week without knee pain.
  • Hurray! Yippee! Oh Happy Day!

SYNOPSIS: (semi-short)

About 2 months ago, after spending 2 months working up from 0 to 10 mpw, I started having knee pains on the lower outside of my right knee. It really hurt going up and down hills and for the rest of the day. Next morning, pain was gone. Tried to run again, but only made it 1 mile before having to quit. Tried resting it for a week, no better. Tried two weeks, only slightly better. Saw several doctors, and it turned out to be ITB tendonitis. Started taking Naprosyn (anti- inflammatory) and stretching the ITB. After a week, I tried a 2 mile run with an elastic knee brace (doctor said if it helps, wear it, but it was not prescribed) and had no knee pain during or after! Ran 7 miles last week and am working on another seven this week. Hallelujah!

DETAILED DESCRIPTION: (including PT regimen)


Faint stabbing pain just below and on the outside of the knee about 1 mile into the run. Flared up to moderate stabbing pain on upgrades and downgrades, subsided back to to faint pain on flat surface. Pain intensity gradually increased to the point where I thought I should stop, then BAM!, the sharp searing pain caused me to stumble. It only lasted a second and after walking for 5 minutes, it seemed OK. I tried a very slow jog but was hit by another sharp pain. I called it quits at that point, walked to my car, drove home, and threw an ice pack on my knee, wiped the tears of frustration and disappointment from my eyes and prayed that it wasn't as serious as it seemed. After an hour of ice (on and off of course :) ), I got up for dinner and the pain still hit the knee for brief seconds for the rest of the day.

The next morning, the knee didn't hurt at all. So I tried a 2 mile walk in a local park. The same series of symptoms started again after a mile, brought on even worse by a long upgrade in the trail. by the time I reached the corresponding downgrade at the end of the trail, the sharp stabbing pains were there again. I had to use a stick to make it down OK. But I did notice that if I turned my right foot outward, 90 degrees from my line of travel, the pain stopped.

Physical Therapy:

I will endeavor to explain what my PT explained to me about the ITB and what to do about it. However, not being a medical person myself, I am sure I will probably get something wrong somewhere. :) I do have the stretches and exercises in front of me, so I know that part is correct.

The ITB is a long tendon like band connecting several hip muscles to the tibia, just below and outside the knee. The hip muscles involved are the piriformis (somewhere on the lower buttocks) and the tensor (front corner of the hip). The tightness of these hip muscles and the ITB caused it to be irritated as it rubbed over bony projections in the knee joint. This irritation increases as the dependency on the muscles involved to stabilize the leg increases, such as when climbing or descending.

[Bob also included stretches and exercises, which are on the Stretches and Exercises page.]


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