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10 Dec 2004

pain in leg
Hi Doc,
I am quite fit. I run 30 - 50 min 3 to 4 times a week for about a year now. The last 2 times I got a very bad pain on the side of my right leg at the knee area. This starts after about 15 min of running. then the pain goes up and down my leg on the side. It becomes so sore that I have to stop running and can hardly walk. It goes away in about 10min after running. I do not think it is the muscle, it feels like it could be a nerve. What do think this is? I realy do enjoy running and would hate not to be able to run anymore.

Thank you
Answer 347 views

01 Jan 0001

HI Annalize

It sounds as though it could be caused by the ITB, which is the illiotibial band. However, please remember that this is just a guess, based on where the pain is, and I really do think that you need to seek the advice of a doctor before you commence with treatment.

Assuming it is the ITB problem, then here is some advice that may help. The Illio-tibial band runs down the outside of the thigh. If this becomes tight the tendon starts to rub on the bone at the knee. Eventually this will become inflamed until running becomes very painful. It is caused by anything that causes the leg to bend inwards, stretching the ITB against the femur overpronation (feet rotate too far inward on impact), tightness of the ITB muscle, lack of stretching of the ITB, incorrect or worn shoes, excessive hill running (especially downhills) and running on cambered surfaces.

If you rest, the inflammation will die down but when you start to run again, because the band is tight the tendon will once again become inflamed.

Any treatment must be done in conjunction with stretching of the ITB. Stretching is very important and you can find some stretches at the following website:

I hope that these help for you. However, perhaps the most important thing is to reduce your running volume right away. Now is as good a time as any, because over Christmas, I guess you can be forgiven for taking a holiday, but what I would do is to just reduce the training distance from 30 to 20 minutes. Still run 3 to 4 times a week if you feel like it, but keep it down to 20 minutes, or even 15 minutes and then hopefully the problem will resolve itself.

Good luck

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