If you have every suffered with knee pain the check this out

Do you ever have pain at the front of your knee? Maybe you get pain knee pain when you run? Maybe you don’t run but you experience pain when you are going up and down the stairs, especially on the way down? 

If you can relate to any of the above then you may be suffering with either one of the two most common knee conditions , Runners Knee (aka Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome)  or Iliotibial Band Syndrome ( aka IT Band Syndrome)

Many people come and see me with knee pain and although often the causes are biomechanical and require physical therapy, sometimes the pain can be caused by external issues that can be easily rectified by the client. 

Hopefully this article will help you identify firstly which condition you may be suffering with and what steps you can take to help resolve the problem before having to refer to an expert. 

So the two common issues are Runners Knee and IT Band Syndrome. Although they are pretty similar, and sometimes the names can be interchangeable and in fact often the causes can also be similar, there are a few distinct differences: 

Runners Knee, as the name suggests, tends to affect runners although it can also affect non runners such as cyclists, hikers, and those who sit for a living. Pain will occur at the front of the knee or around and behind the knee cap. It will hurt to press down on around the kneecap. As well as pain during a run, you may also experience pain when going up and especially down stairs or hills but especially when going up. You may also experience pain if you are squatting or even sitting cross legged. You might get some creaking noises when bending the knee.  

Click here for more information including rehabilitation videos to help with this condition. 


With Iliotibial Syndrome, the pain tends to be located on the outer side of the kneecap rather than the front of the knee. It may also travel partially up the outside of the thigh and around the entire knee, particularly in severe cases but the worst spot has to be on the side of the knee. Pain tends to be worse when going down stairs or hills rather than going up. Pain often improves with rest although it might get worse after prolonged sitting. 

Click here for more information including rehabilitation videos to help with this condition. 


Both conditions are localised to the knee area and unlikely to refer pain elsewhere, such as up towards the groin or down towards the foot.

If you experience either of the following symptoms then it is unlikely that you are suffering with Runners Knee, or ITBS and you should refer to a specialist.

  • Equal pain in both knees
  • Locking, clunking or instability of the knee 
  • Swelling
  • A sudden onset of symptoms
  • Throbbing pain in the back of the knee 
  • Tingling or numbness

As previously mentioned, sometimes the reasons can be down to biomechanical factors such as weakness around the hips, flat feet, weak ankles or a weak core. In fact, if you have muscular pain elsewhere in your body there will almost certainly be a connection. These issues can absolutely be fixed but may require physical therapy or intervention whether it be strengthening , activating or releasing muscles. But sometimes the reasons are very straightforward and the client can make easy fixes which will help. 

So , if you are suffering with knee pain , especially if you are a runner , whether experienced or new to the sport, then I would check the following out first and see if anything applies to you. If nothing applies or you make the changes then definitely book into see a specialist, like me, who will be help. 

Activity Level 

  • Have you suddenly changed the intensity, frequency or duration your run or activity? Are you suddenly doing a lot of high stress exercises like lunges or plyometrics? It is possible that your muscles are just not conditioned enough for the sudden increase in activity? Maybe pare your exercise back slightly, take more rest and focus on strengthening exercises especially your core and lower body.

Training Shoes

  • Are you wearing the right shoes, especially if you are a runner? If you have very high or very flat arches, this will definitely affect your knees. If for example you have flat feet then they will roll inwards on hitting the ground, and  your knees will follow. If this applies to you then buying shoes off the shelf is not a great idea. Get your gait checked first. 
  • If you have a pair of shoes that you wear a lot, then check the wear pattern on the soles and if the wear pattern is not symmetrical then you know that something is awry. 
  • How long have you had your running shoes?. Remember, most shoes have a lifespan of around 300 – 500 miles.  

Running Environment 

  • Are you running on a camber or a running track? If you always run the same route on a road then you are probably running on a camber which means that one leg will always be higher than the other. The same goes for a running track. So mix it up, change direction, change routes.


  • Do you wear media like a phone on s strap on your arm? If you do, then it is more than likely that subconsciously you will be throwing that arm out, to stop the strap from rubbing against your body, and this small movement will move your weight bearing to the opposite leg so now one leg is constantly weight bearing more than the other. This tiny affect, over a long period of time will impact your knee. The same applies if you always carry a water bottle etc in the same hand. Switch it up or better still buy a belt that allows you to place your belongings centrally in your back .   

So hopefully this has helped but if you are still struggling with knee pain then please get in touch and let us help you get rid of your pain once and for all. 

Running should be pain free !