I do short runs of about 20 minutes per week (around 2.5 miles per run). Sometimes towards the end or while cycling I develop discomfort on the lower outside of the knee (pictured). The pain is mostly dull, on the outside and just below the knee. Both knees on the outside.

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Once on a longer 5k run (3.1 miles) the pain was really bad and I had trouble getting up stairs without pain.

I'm not sure if this is IT band inflexibility or something else? What can I do to prevent it?

  • 1
    Not sure we can answer this, as we don't know the cause. It could be IT band, it could be old shoes, it could be running form, and so on. If we don't know the cause, we don't know how to possibly prevent it.
    – JohnP
    Commented Apr 27, 2020 at 14:05
  • 1
    Since the question mentions, I would tend to lower the probability that this could be caused by the choice of shoes or surface. I'd rather look into over-exercising (which can easily lead to poor form). The question does not contain much detail about that. I'd start with (1) total rest for a week or so, then (2) start again at half-frequency, and (3) get professional help if pain persists.
    – Fr.
    Commented May 1, 2020 at 16:39
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    It certainly sounds like Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS), but it is not for us to make such a diagnosis on this forum. I concur with @Fr.: take a break for a week or so, start again with half-frequency, and see a good physiotherapist if pain persists. In the meantime, it wouldn't hurt to engage in a specific regime of stretching and strengthening, anticipating ITBS.
    – POD
    Commented May 17, 2020 at 15:07

3 Answers 3


I agree with JohnP, hard to say. But I suggest you give running a break. Try barefoot walking lunges, they can reveal if your balance/step is good.

What to do: rest, roll, stretch, strengthen, see a professional. The IT band seems to be a common culprit. Try these if not refer back.


Update: I asked someone more experienced than myself and she mentioned that this is commonly due to the pelvic nerve bundle and glutes. Rolling the IT-band helps. If you spend lots of time sitting, give your glutes a break (walking). Also try to strengthen the glutes. Someone famous mentioned that glutes are the reason humans can run on 2 legs but apes can't. How to run with glutes.


Go see an orthopaedic specialist, maybe something is wrong with your feet. Choose one who is making shoes and inlays and who is equiped for walk analysis and used to treat athletes. I have splayfeet and knew it too late, resulting in unrecoverable damage of the knees.


I have this issue, I'll save you the £75 (If you haven't spent it already on the orthopaedics) Get your feet properly measured for your shoes, also you may have a slightly flat foot which is causing your knee to bend inwards (hence the pain on the outside of your knee) Hope this helped.

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