I’ve seen a lot of searches come through to sectionhiker recently about Illiotibial Band Syndrome (ITB). The main symptom of Iliotibial band syndrome is pain that starts outside of your knee and radiates up the side of the thigh. I had a case of it last year when I was section hiking the Long Trail. The ligament on the outside of your knee feels like a rubber band snapping against your knee bone, making it quite painful to walk.
I managed the condition using an ITB compression strap, which you wrap around your leg, just above the knee. This video shows exactly how the strap works. It let me hike without pain and helped me to complete the Long Trail and several long sections of the AT last year.
After that, I got back into the gym and strengthened my quadriceps by riding literally thousands of miles (I calculate 4,000 miles) on an upright stationary bike. That and losing some weight have helped prevent a recurrence this year.
My advice is not to lose hope. Get a strap and keep hiking. Try a bunch of different techniques to strength, stretch, and heal the muscles that cause ITB. It will go away if you keep at it or find a good physical therapist (not a doctor) who understands how to treat this condition.
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