★ Iliotibial band syndrome.

About 8 weeks ago, somewhere in the beginning of November, I went for a run. It was my first time out running since the Brussels marathon in October and it felt great. I skipped a day and went out again. And again the day after.

And that’s when it went wrong. After about 20 minutes of running, I got a stabbing pain on the outside of my right knee. So much so that walking up and down stairs made me limp quite a bit (especially descending was painful). I waited it out and about 3 days later the pain was gone?So I waited another week and tried to run again but no avail. Struck with pain again I applied lots of ice and rested for 3 weeks. And then I tried again (stubborn, I know). You know where this ends?

I’ve done different sports all my life and I think I can tell fairly well when pain is either fatigue, strain or injury. This clearly was the later. Next up: see a doctor about it.

But I didn’t want to take this to my usual doctor, I wanted someone specialized in sports. The good news was that the doctor we used to go to when I was still living with my parents is specialized in just that. So much so that he advises and works with some of the athletes on Belgium’s national triathlon and running squad. Sounds good right? It took a while to get an appointment with him but it was well worth it.

As I’m writing this, I just got back home from my doctor’s appointment and the verdict is in. When I told him when that my knee hurt, he finished my sentence with “On the right outside? And it hurts more walking down stairs than up?” I knew I had come to the right place.

So allow me to introduce you to the Iliotobial band syndrome:

ITBS is one of the leading causes of lateral knee pain in runners. The iliotibial band is a superficial thickening of tissue on the outside of the thigh, extending from the outside of the pelvis, over the hip and knee, and inserting just below the knee. The band is crucial to stabilizing the knee during running, moving from behind the femur to the front while walking. The continual rubbing of the band over the lateral femoral epicondyle, combined with the repeated flexion and extension of the knee during running may cause the area to become inflamed.


What now? 9 rounds for physiotherapy to start with (calling for a first appointment tomorrow) and lots of exercises. Wether I’ll be able up and running again (pun intend) in time to resume my training for the Paris marathon (April 15th 2012) is not sure and even unlikely but I’m keeping a positive attitude. Yes I can.