Far too many people in this world suffer with lateral knee pain. It has become known as the “runner’s knee.” This is the dull, ache and sometimes even sharp pain on the outside of the knee that is usually diagnosed as “IT Band Syndrome.” The question is, what does that really mean?
Sure, we can theorize that for some reason, the IT Band has become tight and is putting pressure on the lateral aspect of the knee. So, we massage it, try to stretch it, tell our athletes to run on the opposite side of the road and h ope they will get better. But do they? The vast majority of the time the answer is NO.
This leads to frustration on the part of the athlete and clinician alike. Worse yet, it leads to MRIs, misdiagnosis, injections, more misdiagnosis, and even surgeries, chasing pain. But, none of it works. The reason…none of them are treating the origin of the pain.
Anatomy of the Problem
The lateral knee pain we are talking about here is the rather difuse, somewhat unexplained pain over the outside of the knee. It is usually sore to the touch and occurs in relatively active people. Sometimes it can present as a lateral meniscus tear (often times without the mechanical symptoms of catching or locking). The pain can occur higher or lower, but usually occurs in a very specific spot directly over the lateral aspect of the knee.
This athlete may or may not have a lot of other biomechanical issues. This is what usually makes this issue so difficult for clinicians. Oftentimes, we end up treating this issue symptomatically because we don’t have a whole lot else to go off of.
The typical treatment has some effect on the pain, but it doesn’t ever seem to get to the root of the problem. This treatment method usually includes massage, stretching, modalities, and rest.
The Cause of the Problem
As is usually the case with difficult pain and injuries, the cause of the pain isn’t in the spot where the pain actually presents. The overlooked cause of most lateral knee pain?
The MTS Solution
As always, MTS is here to help you solve your sports medicine problems. Surprisingly, the solution to this puzzling issue is rather simple. Sure, you want to make sure you act locally with myofascial release techniques and local pain management. But, if you are interested in solving the problem for good, look to the foot. It is where everything starts and holds the solution to lateral knee pain.