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Quick Relief for Knee Pain

Updated on December 18, 2017
cam8510 profile image

Chris has spent most of the last 50 years participating in physical activities such as running, biking, hiking, swimming and weight lifting.

About This Article on Relieving Knee Pain

This article describes the cause of a certain kind of common knee pain. A video demonstrates three techniques to find quick relief from knee pain and inflammation.

Diagram of the Iliotibial Band in the Knee

The orange structure is the iliotibial band.
The orange structure is the iliotibial band. | Source

Treatments for Chronic Knee Pain

Knee pain can have several possible causes. One of these is associated with a structure in the leg known as the iliotibial band, or ITB. This connective tissue runs from the hip to just below the knee on the outside, or lateral part of the leg. There are two places where this band comes into contact with bone. Those are located at the hip and the knee. Sometimes the ITB rubs across the bone and becomes inflamed. This inflammation can cause hip and/or knee pain which can become severe enough to limit mobility.

There are treatments for this condition. If it is a fresh injury, use the "rice" treatment which consists of Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. For ongoing symptoms, acupuncture and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have been proven effective. Other possibilities are orthotics and surgery. It is rare that this condition can't be resolved with nonsurgical methods. There is another treatment that does not involve a visit to the doctor or even a single pill. Gentle stretching of the ilio-tibial band has been proven to relieve pain and inflammation.

I want to introduce you to three simple stretching techniques which may completely, although not permanently, relieve the pain. If these stretches work, they will need to be done regularly in order to keep the pain under control. In the following video, I demonstrate these three stretches. Since all three are done while either seated or lying on the floor, a yoga mat or some other padded surface will make them more comfortable. Also, a five foot length of nylon strap or rope with a loop in one end large enough to slip your foot into, will be needed.

Demonstration of Three Stretches to Relieve Knee Pain. Five Minute Video

How Stretching Relieves Knee Pain

This stretching temporarily lengthens the ITB, thereby reducing the rubbing of the band against bone, both at the hip and knee. The result is less irritation of the ITB and therefore a reduction of the pain.

It has been my experience that these stretches have produced immediate relief from knee pain, and I know others who have had the same relief in the hip.

How to Perform the Stretching Techniques

I want to emphasize four things which I alluded to in the video.

  1. When you do the first stretch involving the strap, place the strap just behind the ball of the foot so that when you pull, it turns the foot outwards.
  2. The stretching should be slow and gentle. Hold the stretch for two or three seconds and then release. Ten repetitions of this should be plenty for each stretching technique.
  3. These stretches can be used when pain begins, or can be used as a preventative measure.
  4. I share these things as suggestions based on my own experience. I am neither a doctor nor a physical therapist. If the pain persists, I suggest you see your doctor.

Relief From Knee Pain

I hope these techniques are helpful and that you find relief from any pain associated with the iliotibial band. If that is the case, take advantage of it and begin enjoying the activities that you may have set aside. If you do find relief, I hope you will come back and share that in the comment section of this article.


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    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until August 2018

      Glen, I appreciate you speaking up and mentioning your experience with these stretches.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      I never had a knee injury, but I am a hiker and once in a while I feel pain in one knee. I do various stretches to alleviate the pain and therefore I can testify that these stretches are very helpful.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 5 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until August 2018

      Jaye, These work for me because my knee pain is related partly to the tight ITB. I also have sever OA in the right knee. I'll get that replaced in about five more years. Thanks again for the voting and sharing.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Thanks for sharing the stretching technique, cam. I had one knee replacement surgery several years ago. Wish I could go back in time and NOT do it, because I have more pain in that knee than the non-bionic one (although the other hurts as well from OA). I have one of the exercise bands, so I'll give your suggestions a try.

      Great hub, organized well, with good information. The video adds so much to your hub, rather than simply describing how to do the stretches.

      Voted Up++ and sharing (because knee pain is common)


    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 5 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until August 2018

      The achilles tendon is definitely one of the most difficult parts of the leg to treat. It gets so much use and very little rest. That's great that your hip turned out well with stretching. I think that a lot of our pains could be remedied by stretching.

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 5 years ago from Northern Ireland

      No, I have, in the past, had hip trouble and found that stretches that targeted the hip helped relieve it so well that it hardly ever bothers me now. At present, I still have an achilles tendon problem but it is slowly improving.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 5 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until August 2018

      Hi DreamerMeg, it is the first or second most common runners' injury. I had it for years, but these stretches dealt with it pretty well. Do you have knee trouble? Thanks for stopping and reading.

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 5 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Interesting hub, I had not heard of this cause before.