Pain on the Outside of the Knee?

This is a common complaint among runners and other athletes such as cyclists.  Just to be clear though, this can occur in the general population as well.


Often times this pain can be related to what is called IT band syndrome (Iliotibial band syndrome).  The ITB runs from the top part of your hip (ilium) to the lateral part of the knee (tibia) and it consists of a thick band of connective tissue.  The gluteal muscle fibers and the TFL (tensor fascia latae) muscles attach to the ITB.  TheIliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS), liac crest, Gluteus medius, Tensor fascia latae, Gluteus maximus,Vastus lateralis, Iliotibial band, Tibia tubercle, Patella, Inflammation of the iliotibial band (ITB) causes outer knee pain and possible pain in the hip, MendMeShop TM ©2011 main purpose of this band is to coordinate muscle function and stabilize the knee during dynamic movement such as running and cycling.


Irritation of this band can produce pain on the outside part of the knee andlateral part of the thigh.  These symptoms can often lead to compensation during activity or even while at rest.  Common compensation patterns include shifting your weight more to the non-involved side while standing, crossing the legs, and not being able to squat or lunge properly due to lateral pulling on the knee cap which can lead to other issues.

One of the most important things to do, other than reduce the level of activity until the symptoms begin to subside, is to consider physical therapy.  A Physical therapist can help determine which muscles or tissues need to be stretched and how to avoid these symptoms in the future through proper stretching and body mechanics.  Most often your plan of care will consist of stretching and  home exercises to help strengthen your pelvic and leg muscles, which will help with recovery.