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I finished training for and running my first marathon and want to run another one in the fall but am having outer knee pain. I thought rest would help this pain, so I have taken the last month off from running. The knee pain continues and is worse with walking stairs. Could physical therapy help my knee so I can continue to train and eventually run another marathon?


Congratulations on finishing your first marathon! It sounds like your knee pain may be due to the Iliotibial Band (ITB) which is a layer of connective/fibrous tissue which runs down the outer side of the thigh and attaches to the outer side of the lower leg just below the knee. The ITB assists with stabilization of the knee. Runners often develop knee pain as a result of overuse. Other contributing factors of ITB syndrome can include: walking or running mechanics; poor footwear; over pronation; poor flexibility the ITB and other muscles in the hip, pelvis, and legs; or weakness of the back, hip, or leg muscles.

The ITB is often irritated and becomes inflamed as a result of repetitive friction of the band at the knee joint which results in pain and tenderness at the outside of your knee. An evaluation by a physical therapist can further determine the cause of your pain. With a proper treatment strategy, we can determine if the tissues in your body can tolerate another marathon training and race in the upcoming months.
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