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Lateral knee pain can indicate a number of different root causes. These causes include Runner’s Knee or ITBS (Iliotibial Band Syndrome), Lateral Meniscus Tear, Patellofemoral Instability (Lateral Patella Tracking), PFPS (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome), or Arthritis. These conditions often arise due to overuse and include inflammation or irritation of the structures that make up the lateral knee. Each of these conditions has its own well-established treatments that include rest, icing after activity, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and strength training.
ITBS (Iliotibial Band Syndrome) — ITBS is common in runners, hence the designation as Runner’s Knee. However, it can be created by any movement that repeatedly causes the knee to pass back and forth across the 30 degree position.
Lateral Meniscus Tear — Caused by over-rotation of the knee internally, hyper-extending or hyper-flexing the knee, or simply from overuse. The cartilage or meniscus becomes damaged towards the outside of the knee causing less integrity of the system that constitutes the lateral knee.
Patellofemoral Instability (Lateral Patella Tracking) — This condition occurs when the kneecap does not move up and down as it is supposed to do. The kneecap (patella) will track at an angle to the outside versus straight up and down. This results in injury to the surrounding tissue. Many athletes, primarily adolescent girls, commonly experience this condition.
Arthritis — The cartilage in the knee degenerates and ceases to provide a smooth surface for bones to move along. The lubricating functionality of the joint is negatively affected and causes irregularities in the bone.
Proper diagnosis of the source of your pain is vital to creating a treatment plan to reduce pain and improve function. Your professional medical provider has the tools and expertise to diagnose and develop a treatment plan for your specific condition.
KT Tape has been helpful for lateral knee pain, regardless of its source, through its ability to provide support without limiting mobility. KT Tape cues large muscle groups like the quadriceps to do their job in supporting knee movement. By creating surface tension on the skin over the area needing support, KT Tape creates a light, comfortable support structure that relieves pain and restores mobility.