I'm a new runner who started experiencing knee pain about six weeks ago. The
pain is on the outside of my left knee. After doing some reading, I was pretty
sure I had ITBS, but now I think I might have misdiagnosed myself.
I started running at the beginning of December. I progressed relatively quickly
because I was already in very good aerobic condition. By mid January I was
running about five miles a day five to six days a week at about an 8 minute per
One day I went out for a run in the snow. The snow was soft, not icy, and it
sort of felt like running on sand. About mid-way through my run I started
experiencing pain on the bottom outside of my left knee. I took a few days off.
I tried running again and the pain came back about a mile into my run.
I took three weeks off from running. Then I tried again and I started to
experience the same pain about a mile in.
Before I started running I used to do the stairmaster on a daily basis. I have
heard that this is not a good exercise for ITBS, but after taking a couple of
more weeks off from running, I tried the stairmaster. It causes me absolutely no
knee pain, and I do it for about 45 minutes a day.
I haven't tried running again, but when I sit for long periods of time, my knee
gets very sore. The pain goes away after about five or ten minutes of walking
I want to try running again next week. Is this ITBS, or could it be
chondromalacia (sp?). I went to my regular doctor a few weeks ago and he did a
full knee exam and I felt no pain, but when I tried to run the next day the pain
Kim, I think you made a correct diagnosis. The ITB is a long tissue that
originates proxmally at the hip from the Tensor Fascia Lata muscle anteriorly,
and the Gluteus Maximus muscle posteriorly. It inserts on the lateral superior
anterior portion of the tibia. The insertion on the tibia and it's path across
the greater trochanter of the femur and the lateral epicondyle of the femur all
conspire to place the ITB under strain when you combine slight knee flexion with
slight hip flexion and slight hip adduction - the motion of deceleration of the
leg during running, for example. It turns out, that if you are slightly inclined
to pronate at the knee, you can very definitely increase the strain on the ITB
distally. Naturally, this would be difficult to reproduce in the clinic, and
would be of no consequence on the stair climber since the loads would be so much
In any event, the cure is orthotics. You most likely need to be posted to sulcus
to prevent your distal ITB from acting up! In the meantime, use ice, and do
some passive stretching of the ITB to help