Pain experienced at the outer part of the knee is likely to be related to the IT band, the strip of connective tissue that runs along the outer part of your thigh from the hip to the knee. According to a Runner’s World article, IT Band Syndrome accounts for 12% of running injuries, and can occur due to irritation of the IT band rubbing across the femur as your knee flexes and extends during running, especially if you are doing a lot of track work or hilly runs.
Runners at risk of developing ITB Syndrome are those that increase mileage too quickly, have a leg length discrepancy, hip weakness in the glutes, wider hips, or over-pronate. Backing off on training mileage and intensity at the first sign of irritation will help to decrease exacerbation of symptoms. Cross training could include pool running or swimming as biking can further aggravate symptoms due to the repetitive flexion/extension of the knee.
Treatment should include foam rolling along the IT band at the outer thigh, and use of ice after running to help control inflammation. A physical therapist can help to evaluate if you have a leg length discrepancy or hip weakness that needs to be addressed, use gait analysis to provide tips to improve your running mechanics, as well as teach you how to use taping to decrease stress at the outer part of the knee.
See this video for 3 simple exercise you can do to help yourself:
A lot of runners and athletes have found taping to beneficial as it may provide enough relief to allow you to continue running or exercising while working on the strengthening. If you want to learn how you can tape your own knee, click on the link below to get access to a special training video on taping for Runner's Knee.
We are always available to consult with you individually as well - just contact us to set up an appointment.