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Monday, March 09, 2009

I have severe pain on the outside of my knees right below the knee cap

Hi Gary,
I recently viewed a YouTube video of you addressing a mans question about his knee problem.

I am very active in sports, mainly basketball and football, but not until recently have I ever had any kind of knee pain or problems. Im 21 years old and have been involved in sports since about 6 years of age. I have severe pain on the outside of my knees right below the knee cap. The pain is towards the outsides of the knee and hurts when jumping as well. My knees or legs never swell after or during activity, they just hurt immeadiatley after.

I recently had a pair of shoes in which the outer bottom soles were not very stable, but due to financial issues continued to play basketball in them - this is where I believe the pain is coming from. Is it possible that poor shoes could cause this to happen to my knee? Can I reverse this pain with new shoes?
Gary responds:
Angelo, the good news is your knee joints are probabaly in perfect health! From what you are describing, you may be suffering from irritation of the iliotibial band (ITB) where it runs over the bony prominences of the outer knee and inserts. This is not an uncommon problem in sports that involve repeated and vigorous jumping, sprinting and lunging. Shoes that throw the weight even slightly to the outside borders of the feet may cause added strain on the ITB. If you still have the offending shoes, throw them out.

The treatment is straightforward:
  • Please read the many articles on this site about muscle cramp, active elements salts and nutrition for tendons and follow the advice (vitamin C, etc)
  • Get a once weekly deep tissue massage on the low back, buttt and muscles of the legs, concentrating on the ITB. The massage therapist will be able to locate areas of extreme tenderness and some swelling on the sides of the knees. Despite their tenderness, these areas should be massaged to soften the areas and to shift any toxic fluid that has been accumulating. If the massage is done just right, any feeling of bruising should be gone by about 5 days. Repeat every week. Significant progress will be noticed by three weeks. Continue untill you are pain free.
  • Similar issues of pain, swelling and knotts will surely be found in other areas of the length of the ITB.
  • If the injury is as suspected, please continue to exercise normally from the day after the first massage therapy session. Exercise will aid the healing and recovery.
If you fail to recover within about 4 weeks of this therapy, please get back to me with an update and we will see what else can be done.
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