IT Band Syndrome/Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Runners Knee)

IT Band Syndrome/Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Runners Knee)


These repetitive strain injuries are two separate conditions, however, their symptoms and causes can overlap somewhat.  They both give pain, swelling, stiffness and sometimes restrictions in movement in the knee but the area of pain is different.  IT Band Syndrome (ITBS) usually gives pain over the lateral (outside) aspect of the knee and patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) usually gives pain in front of the knee but this can vary and sometimes even present pain in the back of the knee.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome is often associated with running – particularly going downhill at the end of a run when the muscles are tired.  Although it is often seen in runners, it can be caused by cycling and even hiking.  The iliotibial band is a tough, long thin piece of connective tissue that runs down the outside of the thigh.  The band is attached to the deep gluteal muscles (buttock) at the top and the outside of the knee at the bottom.  This overuse injury is thought to be caused by repetitive knee flexion and extension movements frequently seen in cyclists and runners. This repetitive motion causes friction between the bottom of the femur (thigh bone) and the end of the iliotibial tract and this leads to pain, inflammation and swelling at the outside of the knee.

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) is a wide term used to describe pain coming from the joint between the patellar (knee cap) and the femur (thigh bone) or the surrounding soft tissues.  It used to be referred to as anterior knee pain but this was changed because the pain can actually be felt in many different parts of the knee, including the back.

PFPS can be caused by trauma to the patellar but actually its more often due to a combination of other factors including overuse of the knee, especially things like deep knee bending, squatting or kneeling, muscular imbalances or weaknesses or mechanical disturbances in the whole leg.

Our treatment on both of these repetitive strain scenarios is to first address the soft tissues causing the pain with soft tissue techniques, then to move on to how the knee is working and to treat any dysfunction we find there and then to take assessment and treat the mechanics of the feet, legs, hips, low back and pelvis.  All of these structures can have an impact on the knee as the knee is very susceptible to muscle balances and mechanical disturbances either coming down from the low back, hips and pelvis or coming up from the feet and ankles.

During the treatment, we will devise a regime of stretches and exercises aimed at strengthening weak muscles and relaxing tight, short muscles to rectify any muscle imbalances.  We also advise on ways to adapt your lifestyles, hobbies or sports to encourage the healing process and to avoid re-aggravating the condition.  This advice not only helps to heal the injury now but also to protect from it happening again in the future.

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Lordswood Osteopathic Clinic

The Lords wood Osteopathic Clinic was established and is run by Sue Jennings, BSc (Hons), Osteopath. The Lordswood Osteopathic Clinic is situated on the ground floor of Lordswood Leisure Centre, North Dane Way, Chatham, with plenty of free parking and disabled access. The clinic is open during the daytime on Monday to Friday, evening appointments available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday evenings. Lordswood Osteopathic Clinic staff are all registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC).