Running

Top 6 Reasons You Experience Knee Pain While Running

runners-kneeAs the name suggests, runner’s knee, also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome, is a common ailment among runners. But it can also strike anyone who does activities that require a lot of knee bending, such as walking, crossfit, biking and cycling. But runner’s knee isn’t really a specific injury. It’s a loose term for any one of several conditions that cause pain around the kneecap (patella).

Research has shown that runner’s knee is more common in women than in men, particularly in women of middle age. Overweight individuals are especially prone to the disorder.

Runner’s Knee Causes:

  • The pain of runner’s knee may be activated by a variety of causes. Here are the most common causes of runner’s knee:
  • Thigh and hip/buttock muscle weakness – Weakness in thigh, hip and buttock muscles causes a disproportional load on the kneecap, leading to abnormal wear patterns and inflammatory pain. This improper alignment and tracking can be due to an imbalance of strength between the group of muscles known as the quadriceps and gluteals. This imbalance in strength causes the kneecap to track improperly because it is pulled laterally and out of its track, or causes an increased stress to the cartilage surface underneath the kneecap.
  • Kneecap out of alignment – If any of the bones are slightly out of their correct position — or misaligned — the kneecap can’t smoothly follow its vertical track as the knee bends and extends. This causes wear and tear on the joint. That leads to overuse injuries like runner’s knee and, down the line, osteoarthritis, which can really put a cramp in a runner’s career.
  • Problems with the feet – Runner’s knee can result from conditions of the feet such as fallen arches or overpronation (flat feet). These conditions may excessively stress joints and tissues of the knee. You should always assess your running shoes when experiencing any aches or pains. Make sure they are not too old, and are the correct type of shoes for your feet (more arch support, etc.) Something as simple as an over-the-counter custom insert can help to correct runner’s knee.
  • Direct trauma to the knee – such as a fall or blow.
  • Overuse – Repeated bending or high stress exercises such as lunges, squats, stairs, hills and plyometrics can irritate the kneecap joint. Overstretched tendons as a result of overuse may also cause the pain of runner’s knee.
  • Your training plan – Next, evaluate your training plan. The key points to consider are: Have you been increasing speed or distance recently? Also, are you allowing for adequate recovery time? Increasing mileage too quickly or introducing speed too soon, increases the risk of injury.

Not sure if you have runner’s knee or not? Review these symptoms of runner’s knee. If you have been diagnosed with this condition, you may have to stop running temporarily until the knee pain subsides, but continuing to run will not cause long term damage. If your knee pain has not improved within 4-6 weeks, you should consult your sports medicine physician.

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About the Emory Sports Medicine Center

At the Emory Sports Medicine Center, our team of knee specialists are constantly conducting research and developing new techniques for diagnosing and treating the full range of sports-related injuries. Whether you are a professional athlete, or simply enjoy an active lifestyle, Emory provides comprehensive care, in a patient- and –family- centered environment, so together we achieve the best possible outcome and you can return to the sport you love. To schedule an appointment, call 404-778-3350 or complete our online appointment request form.

About Dr. Hammond

hammond-kyleKyle Hammond, MD, spent his childhood in Johns Creek, GA and graduated from Chattahoochee High School before attending the University of Georgia. During his Emory residency, Dr. Hammond received the “Outstanding Resident Award”, and was twice the 1st runner-up in the Kelly Society’s Annual Research Award. Dr. Hammond’s research on the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL Surgery) won the 1st place Award for Research at the Annual Southern Orthopaedic Association and Georgia Orthopaedic Association meetings. He also worked as a Resident Team Physician for Georgia Tech, Emory, and Oglethorpe University Athletics. After his time at Emory, Dr. Hammond was selected to the ‘world-renowned’ Sports Medicine, Shoulder Surgery, and Concussion Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. While in Pittsburgh, Dr. Hammond was the Associate Head Team Orthopaedic Surgeon for both the Duquesne University Football team and the University of Pittsburgh Men’s Basketball team. He also worked as a Team Physician for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the University of Pittsburgh athletics, Robert Morris College athletics, as well as the Pittsburgh Ballet. Dr. Hammond then moved on to the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, New York to work alongside the renowned, Dr. Brian Kelly and learn his techniques in the field of hip arthroscopy.

Dr. Hammond has a special interest in ligament injuries to the knee, the overhead and throwing athlete, shoulder arthroscopy, joint preservation/cartilage surgery, and is one of the few fellowship trained hip arthroscopists in Georgia.

Dr. Hammond enjoys spending time with his wife and their twin boys. When he’s not busy with family and work, Dr. Hammond enjoys working-out, golf, tennis, baseball and football.

Additional Resources
Understanding Runners’ Knee aka Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Protect Your Knees at Any Age

5 Ways to Prevent Shin Splints

runners-shinYou don’t typically think about your shins until they hurt. But by then, you could be looking at some major downtime. A recent study showed that shin splints are the most common injury for new runners, keeping them out of activity for a whopping 72 days on average! Keep yourself active and healthy – check out a few easy tips to prevent shin splints from occurring in the future:

Building Strength

Shin splints often occur when your legs are overworked. That’s sometimes from a lot of mileage, and sometimes because your shins pick up the slack for body parts that are weak, such as your feet, ankles, calves, and hips, which support your shins. One easy way to avoid shin splints is to build strength in these areas. A few basic exercises include:

  • Heel Drop – Stand on your toes on the edge of a step. Shift your weight to your right leg and take your left foot off the step, then lower your right heel down. Repeat this same process with your left leg.
  • Monster Walks – With your feet shoulder-width apart, place a resistance band around your thighs and step forward and toward the right with your right leg. Bring your left leg up to meet your right, and then step out toward the left. Repeat.
  • Toe Curls – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart at the edge of a towel. With the toes of your left foot, gather the towel and slowly pull it toward you. Repeat this process with your right foot.

Gradual Progression

Instead of running too much too soon, increase your speed and distance gradually. For building intensity and duration, 10 is the magic number. Increase your walking distance by 10% each week, while upping your run to walk ratio by 10% each week.

Cross Train

The impact of running can shock your system (another word here). Supplement miles run with other cardio exercises that are easier on your joints, such as swimming, cycling or rowing. Participating in yoga or Pilates is another great way to cross train and build core strength, which can help prevent injuries.

Arch Support

Minimalism may be the trendy new thing in running, but that doesn’t mean going barefoot is right for you. In fact, it may be causing you shin splints due to lack of arch support. Look for motion control or stability shoes, or add an orthotic insole to give you the support you need and keep your foot from rolling or overpronating.

Touch Down Mid-Foot

Hitting heel first leads the foot to slap down on the pavement, forcing the shin and foot muscles to work harder to slow you down. Running on your toes stretches the calf muscles in your leg. Try to touch down with a flat, mid-foot landing to avoid strain – a correct gait is essential to preventing injuries.

About Dr. Mautner

mautner-kennethKenneth Mautner, MD, is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) with a subspecialty certification in Sports Medicine. He has a special interest in the areas of sports concussions, where he is regarded as a local and regional expert in the field. In 2005, he became one of the first doctors in Georgia to use office based neuropsychological testing to help determine return to play for athletes. He also is an expert in diagnostic and interventional musculoskeletal ultrasound and teaches both regional and national courses on how to perform office based ultrasound. He regularly performs Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections for patients with chronic tendinopathy.

Dr. Mautner also specializes in the care of athletes with spine problems as well as hip and groin injuries. He currently serves as head team physician for Agnes Scott College and St. Pius High School and a team physician for Emory University Athletics. He is also a consulting physician for Georgia Tech Athletics, Neuro Tour, the Atlanta Ballet, and several local high schools.

About the Emory Sports Medicine Center

The Emory Sports Medicine Center is a leader in advanced treatments for patients with orthopedic and sports-related injuries. Our sports medicine patients range from professional athletes to those who enjoy active lifestyles and want the best possible outcomes.

Constantly conducting research and developing new techniques, Emory sports medicine specialists are highly specialized in diagnosing and treating sports injuries within their respective area of focus.

We are proud to be the sports medicine team physicians for the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Dream, Georgia Tech and provide services for many additional professional, collegiate and recreational teams.

Appointments for surgical second opinions or acute sports injuries are available within 48 hours. Call 404-778-3350 today.

Takeaways from Dr. Mason’s Chat on How to Train and Prepare for Summer Running Races

Running Live ChatThank you for attending the live chat on How to Train and Prepare for Summer Running Races on Tuesday, June 9 with Emory Sports Medicine physician Amadeus Mason, MD. We had a great discussion, so thank you to all who participated and asked questions. From tips for preventing shin splints to advice on how to train for a 5K, we were thrilled with the number of people who were able to register and participate in the chat. (You can check out the transcript here).

The response was so great that we had a few questions we were not able to answer during the chat so we will answer them below for your reference.

Question: I have inflammation behind my knee. What can I do?

Amadeus Mason, MDDr. Mason: Inflammation behind the knee can be due to a number of knee conditions. Baker’s cyst are common and can be caused by injury to the knee, arthritis, damage to the cartilage of the knee, and other problems. Sprains (caused by overstretching and tearing of the stabilizing ligaments) can lead to swelling of the knee area as well.

Seek immediate medical attention if you are in serious pain, or are experiencing symptoms such as: paralysis, loss of sensation, absent pulses in the feet, the inability to move the knee joint, severe bleeding, chest pain, difficulty breathing, or uncontrollable pain.

Swelling behind the knee may not produce any other symptoms, but if your condition persists and continues to cause concern, seek an evaluation from a sports medicine physician or knee specialist.

Question: What is the best way to correct an IT band injury that has caused can imbalance and pain while running?

Amadeus Mason, MDDr. Mason: If treated appropriately with conservative treatment and resting of the affected area, IT Band Syndrome is usually curable within 6 weeks. If your injury was not appropriately treated, or not given adequate time to heal, the source of your current complications may be due to:

  • Chronically inflamed tendon and bursa, causing persistent pain with activity that may progress to constant pain.
  • Recurrence of symptoms if activity is resumed too soon through overuse, a direct blow, or poor training technique.
  • Inability to complete training or competition.

Until you are able to seek an evaluation from a sports medicine physician, I would discontinue the activity (ies) that are causing you pain so you do not further damage the iliotibial band.

Question: I get cramps in my calf when I run but not when walking. Is there a remedy?

Amadeus Mason, MDDr. Mason: Cramps are a result of a few factors, but dehydration and improper warm-up are the most common causes.

To prevent muscle cramps, runners need to consume enough fluid before exercising. Some healthy tips are:

  • Drink 16 to 20 ounces 45 minutes before training.
  • Drink 2 to 4 ounces every 15 minutes during a training session.
  • Before you begin your run, warm up with 5 to 10 minutes of low impact activity, like walking to warm up the muscles.

For more information about all our orthopedic and sports-related injuries, visit Emory Sports Medicine Center. Think you need to be evaluated by a sports medicine physician? To make an appointment with an Emory physician, please complete our online appointment request form or call 404-778-3350.

Related Resources

How to Train and Prepare for Summer Running Races – Join Us for a Live Online Chat!

Running Training Live ChatWhether you are a seasoned marathon runner or recreational jogger, it is important to train properly and know how to prevent injury.

If you are interested in learning more about preventing and treating sports and running injuries, join Emory Sports Medicine physician Amadeus Mason, MD, for an online web chat on Tuesday, June 9 at noon. Dr. Mason will be available to answer your questions such as:

  • Injury prevention
  • Stretching
  • Race-day tips
  • Symptoms of certain athletic injuries
  • Risk factors for athletic/running injuries
  • Treatment for specific sports injuries
  • When to visit your sports medicine physician

To register for the live chat, visit emoryhealthcare.org/mdchats! If you already have questions for Dr. Mason, go ahead and submit in advance so our team can answer during the chat!

Sign Up for the Chat

From surgical sports medicine expertise to innovative therapies and athletic injury rehabilitation, our sports medicine specialists provide the most comprehensive treatment for a range of athletic-related injuries. Visit our website to learn more about the Emory Sports Medicine Center.

4 Healthy Tips to Winter-Proof Your Outdoor Workout

During the winter months, exercising outside takes not only motivation, but proper preparation to prevent injury. Emory Sports Medicine physician Amadeus Mason, MD, shares ways to keep your body safe and warm while exercising in the cold. Below are a few healthy tips to help prevent injury:

  • Make sure to warm-up before starting to exercise
  • Keep your fingers, nose and ears covered
  • Make sure to stay hydrated
  • Invest in proper work-out clothes using materials designed to balance body temperature and help with perspiration

For more tips on how to stay safe, warm and dry while training in cold weather, view the full FOX 5 News segment.

Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

About Emory Sports Medicine

The Emory Sports Medicine Center is a leader in advanced treatments for patients with orthopedic and sports-related injuries. From surgical sports medicine expertise to innovative therapy and athletic injury rehabilitation, our sports medicine physicians and specialists provide the most comprehensive treatment for athletic injuries in Atlanta, Dunwoody, Duluth, Johns Creek and the state of Georgia. Constantly conducting research and developing new techniques, Emory sports medicine specialists are experienced in diagnosing and treating the full spectrum of sports injuries.

Our sports medicine patients range from professional athletes to those who enjoy active lifestyles and want the best possible outcomes and recovery from sports injuries. Our doctors are the sports medicine team physicians for the Atlanta Falcons and Georgia Tech and provide services for many additional professional, collegiate and recreational teams. Appointments for surgical second opinions or acute sports injuries are available within 48 hours. Call 404-778-7777 today.

About Dr. Mason

Amadeus Mason, MDDr. Mason is an assistant professor in the Orthopaedics and Family Medicine departments at Emory University.

He is board certified in Sports Medicine with a special interest in track and field, running injuries and exercise testing. He has been trained in diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound, orthopedic stem cell therapy and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy. Dr. Mason is Team Physician for USA Track & Field, Tucker High School, and Georgia Tech Track and Field.

Dr. Mason is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, the America Road Racing Medical Society, and the USA Track and Field Sports Medicine and Science Committee. He has been invited to be a resident physician at the US Olympic Training Center, a Sports Medicine consultant in his homeland of Jamaica and the Chief Medical Officer at multiple USA Track and Field international competitions. He is an annual speaker at the pre-race expo for PTRR, Publix marathon and Atlanta marathon commenting on a wide variety of topics related to athletics and running injuries.

Dr. Mason is an active member of the Atlanta running community. He attended Princeton University and was Captain of the track team. His other sports interests include soccer, college basketball and football, and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). A Decatur resident, he is married with three children.

Related Resources

Takeaways from Dr. Mason’s live chat on “How to Run and Train for Running Races and Other Athletic Adventures”

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the live chat with Amadeus Mason, MD, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Family Medicine. Dr. Mason answered questions about how new runners can develop a plan for training and working up to a long race. He also discussed proper training before a marathon as well as running shoes and how frequently to replace them.

Below are a few questions and answers from the chat. You can see all of the questions and answers by reading the chat transcript.

Question:  Are there any special precautions of which “new” runners with low back pain should be mindful?

Amadeus Mason, MDDr. Mason:
Running should not be causing low back pain. If your low back pain was already present before you started running, or you are experiencing low back pain after running, I recommend you be evaluated to find out why.
 
 
 
Question:  I would love to become a runner. As of now I am training using the Get Running app. I want to know if this is a good way to ease into running so, that I may one day be able to run a 5K?

Amadeus  Mason, MDDr. Mason:
There is no one, single way to work up to running a 5K. While I am not familiar with that specific app, I would recommend some general principles to help prevent injury:

  1. Have a plan.
  2. Stick to your plan.
  3. Progress slowly and never increase pace and distance at the same time.
  4. Cross train, taking regular rest days. Consider running every other day.
  5. A 5K is only 3.1miles. There’s no need to be running longer than five miles at any individual session.

If you missed this chat with Dr. Mason, be sure to check out the full chat transcript!

Visit our website for more information about Emory Sports Medicine Center.

Are you a Weekend Warrior and Want to Learn How to Train for Summer Running Races and Other Athletic Adventures?

If so, join Emory Sports Medicine physician Amadeus Mason, MD for an online web chat on Tuesday, June 10 at noon. Dr. Mason will be available to answer your questions regarding running and other sports injuries such as

  • Prevention of injury
  • Stretching
  • Symptoms of certain athletic injuries
  • Risk factors for athletic/running injuries
  • Treatment for specific sports injuries
  • When to visit your sports medicine physician

If you are interested in learning more about preventing and treating sports and running injuries register for the live chat by visiting emoryhealthcare.org/mdchats!

About Dr. Mason

Amadeus Mason, MDDr. Mason is an assistant professor in the Orthopaedics and Family Medicine departments at Emory University. He is board certified in Sports Medicine with a special interest in track and field, running injuries and exercise testing. He has been trained in diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound, orthopedic stem cell therapy and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy. Dr. Mason is Team Physician for USA Track & Field, Tucker High School, and Georgia Tech Track and Field.

Dr. Mason is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, the America Road Racing Medical Society, and the USA Track and Field Sports Medicine and Science Committee. He has been invited to be a resident physician at the US Olympic Training Center, a Sports Medicine consultant in his homeland of Jamaica and the Chief Medical Officer at multiple USA Track and Field international competitions. He is an annual speaker at the pre-race expo for PTRR, Publix marathon and Atlanta marathon commenting on a wide variety of topics related to athletics and running injuries.

Dr. Mason is an active member of the Atlanta running community. He attended Princeton University and was Captain of the track team. His other sports interests include soccer, college basketball and football, and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). A Decatur resident, he is married with three children

Related Links

Emory Sports Medicine
Runner’s chat with Dr. Mason 2013 transcript
More Runners’ Chat Questions Answered
Tennis Elbow and PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) Therapy – Is it Right for Me?

What is Better for My Health? Weights or Cardiovascular Exercise?

Cardio vs. WeightsFor the promotion of overall health and reduction of risk around developing diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease, the most effective fitness plan incorporates both cardiovascular training and strength training. There are different benefits to the different types of exercise, so it is ideal to plan your weekly workout routine split (2-3 days of each) between strength and cardio training.

Benefits of cardiovascular training

  • Breathing harder and deeper increases amount of oxygen in the blood
  • Heart, lungs, blood vessels work more efficiently with cardio exercises to transport oxygen through the body
  • Burns calories – one hour of running burns approximately 600 calories in a average female and 750 calories in the average male

Benefits of strength training

  • Increase muscle mass – you will be able to do activities longer after building muscle mass
  • Maintain joint flexibility
  • Increase bone density
  • Manage your weight – Note that muscle burns more calories than fat so if you have more muscle your metabolism is likely to be higher and you are likely to be slimmer.

Lack of sufficient exercise contributes to the possibility of developing conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and several types of cancer. All forms of exercise can reduce your risk of developing diseases that can be harmful to your overall health.

If you can exercise 5 – 6 days a week for over 30 minutes a day, you are ahead of the game. And if you can’t make 30 minutes a day, start small by taking the stairs at work, doing some calisthenics when you wake up in the morning, or by going for a short bike ride with your children. Work it in when you can – your body and health will thank you for it!

Related Resources:

How to Prevent Plantar Fasciitis
Understanding & Preventing Tennis Elbow
Tennis Elbow Isn’t the Only Thing that Causes Tennis Elbow
Understanding IT Band Syndrome
Understanding Runners Knee

About Dr. Mason

Dr. Amadeus MasonDr. Amadeus Mason is an assistant professor in the Orthopaedics and Family Medicine departments at Emory University. He is board certified in Sports Medicine with a special interest in track and field, running injuries and exercise testing. He has been trained in diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound, orthopedic stem cell therapy and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy. Dr. Mason is Team Physician for USA Track & Field, Tucker High School, and Georgia Tech Track and Field.

Dr. Mason is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, the America Road Racing Medical Society, and the USA Track and Field Sports Medicine and Science Committee. He has been invited to be a resident physician at the US Olympic Training Center, a Sports Medicine consultant in his homeland of Jamaica and the Chief Medical Officer at multiple USA Track and Field international competitions. He is an annual speaker at the pre-race expo for PTRR, Publix marathon and Atlanta marathon commenting on a wide variety of topics related to athletics and running injuries.

Dr. Mason is an active member of the Atlanta running community. He attended Princeton University and was Captain of the track team. His other sports interests include soccer, college basketball and football, and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). A Decatur resident, he is married with three children.

About Emory Sports Medicine

The Emory Sports Medicine Center is a leader in advanced treatments for patients with orthopedic and sports-related injuries. From surgical sports medicine expertise to innovative therapy and athletic injury rehabilitation, our sports medicine physicians and specialists provide the most comprehensive treatment for athletic injuries in Atlanta, Duluth, Johns Creek and the state of Georgia. Constantly conducting research and developing new techniques, Emory sports medicine specialists are experienced in diagnosing and treating the full spectrum of sports injuries.

Our sports medicine patients range from professional athletes to those who enjoy active lifestyles and want the best possible outcomes and recovery from sports injuries. Our doctors are the sports medicine team physicians for the Atlanta Falcons and Georgia Tech and provide services for many additional professional, collegiate and recreational teams. Appointments for surgical second opinions or acute sports injuries are available within 48 hours. Call 404-778-7777 today.

Understanding Exercise Induced Asthma

Sports Induced AsthmaHave you found yourself coughing, wheezing or feeling short of breath during or after exercise recently? If so, it may not just be due to being out of shape. It could be caused by Exercise Induced Asthma; also known as Exercise Induced Bronchospasm. Exercise Induced Asthma could be solely triggered by exercise, or due to a variety of other triggers. This, like other forms of asthma, occurs when airways in your lungs constrict and produce extra amounts of mucus, making it hard to breathe.

Symptoms of exercise-induced asthma include:

  • Coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath while exercising
  • Chest pain/tightness
  • Fatigue during exercise
  • Compromised athletic performance

These symptoms can start soon after you begin exercise, and can worsen up to 10-15 minutes after you finish.

Seek immediate medical treatment if your symptoms get worse, since exercise induced asthma can be life threatening in emergency situations:

  • Shortness of breath quickly worsens
  • No improvement even after using a rescue inhaler
  • Shortness of breath continues even after recovery from your workout

There are no clear causes of exercise induced asthma, but factors that can provoke an attack are:

  • Cold air
  • Dry air
  • Air pollution
  • High pollen counts
  • Respiratory infections such as colds
  • Chemicals

No particular exercise is totally forbidden, but those that make you breathe harder can be triggers. These include basketball, running, hockey and soccer versus weightlifting, golfing or moderate walking.

Exercise Asthma risk factors include:

  • Already having asthma
  • Hay fever or other allergies
  • Having a parent or sibling with asthma
  • Smoking or second hand smoke exposure
  • Exposure to chemical triggers such as chlorine in pools
  • Being a child (they tend to be more active than adults)

After being tested and diagnosed by your doctor, they may prescribe two kinds of medicine: Quick Relief and/or Long-Term Control medication.

  • Quick Relief medication is for rapid, short-term symptom relief during an attack. Sometimes a doctor may recommend using it before exercise.
  • Long-Term Control medication is for frequent asthma symptoms that occur even when you are not exercising or when using medicine before workouts does not help. They are taken daily.

If using both, it is suggested not to use the Quick Relief inhaler more than recommended. Get in the habit of recording the number of puffs you take per week. If you find that you need to use it more frequently, talk to your doctor to adjust your Long-Term Control medication.

The good news is that with treatment, you can do intense aerobic activity, along with avoiding causes of attacks by breathing through your nose, wearing a scarf over your nose and mouth, avoiding exercise when the air is polluted or dirty, avoiding exercising near recently mowed lawns, and warming up before exercise and cooling down after.

About Dr. Mason
Dr. Amadeus MasonDr. Mason is an assistant professor in the Orthopaedics and Family Medicine departments at Emory University. He is board certified in Sports Medicine with a special interest in track and field, running injuries and exercise testing. He has been trained in diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound, orthopedic stem cell therapy and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy. Dr. Mason is Team Physician for USA Track & Field, Tucker High School, and Georgia Tech Track and Field.

Dr. Mason is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, the America Road Racing Medical Society, and the USA Track and Field Sports Medicine and Science Committee. He has been invited to be a resident physician at the US Olympic Training Center, a Sports Medicine consultant in his homeland of Jamaica and the Chief Medical Officer at multiple USA Track and Field international competitions. He is an annual speaker at the pre-race expo for PTRR, Publix marathon and Atlanta marathon commenting on a wide variety of topics related to athletics and running injuries.

Dr. Mason is an active member of the Atlanta running community. He attended Princeton University and was Captain of the track team. His other sports interests include soccer, college basketball and football, and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). A Decatur resident, he is married with three children.

Related Resources:

Understanding IT Band Syndrome

IT Band Syndrome IT Band Injury

Iliotibial band (IT) syndrome, also referred to as IT band injury or IT band pain, is an injury that affects the outside of the  knee and is caused when irritation or inflammation of the IT band occurs.

If you have ever suffered from IT band syndrome, you know IT band pain is a pain you don’t want to feel again.  The good news is that you can prevent IT band injuries with strengthening and stretching exercises. Pay close attention and follow the information/suggestions here and you may be able to steer clear from the pain of IT band syndrome!

What is the IT Band?

The IT band is the long, strong, thick band of tissue that runs along the outside of the leg.  It starts at the hip area and runs all the way down to just below the knee.  The purpose of the band is to provide stability to the knee during movement.

IT Band Syndrome Causes

An IT band injury is an overuse injury,  primarily caused by inflammation of the IT band.   Tightness in the IT band can cause friction  where the IT band crosses the knee joint.   Causes of IT band syndrome can include:

  • Running up and down hill repeatedly
  • Running on a banked or sloped surface (like an indoor track or edge of a road)
  • Running up and down stairs
  • Weak hip muscles
  • Uneven leg length
  • Excessive foot strike force

IT Band Injury Symptoms

  • Stinging sensation above the knee
  • Swelling or thickening of the tissue where IT band moves over femur
  • Pain may intensify over time and may not occur immediately during activity
  • Pain occurs when foot strikes the ground
  • Pain may occur where the IT band attaches to the tibia

Preventing IT Band Syndrome

  • Warm up and stretch before competing or practicing
  • Recover properly between events/competitions/practices
  • Improve core strength with Pilates type exercises
  • Avoid running on banked surfaces
  • Avoid running the same direction on the track all the time
  • If you have flat fee, where arch supports or orthotics

Check out the exercises in this downloadable document: IT Band Stretching & Strengthening Exercises (PDF). And in this blog post, you’ll find more information on preventing running injuries.

IT Band Syndrome Treatment

  • Rest – most runners don’t want to listen to this advice but rest really will help alleviate the pain
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Ice the painful area
  • Improve flexibility by stretching
  • Physical therapy

We hope you can steer clear of IT band syndrome and keep your legs moving!


Peachtree Road RaceEmory Healthcare is a proud sponsor of the AJC Peachtree Road Race.

Emory Healthcare is the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia and includes Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital, Wesley Woods Center, Saint Joseph’s Hospital, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Emory Adventist Hospital, The Emory Clinic, Emory Specialty Associates, and the Emory Clinically Integrated Network.

Come visit us at the AJC Peachtree Road Race expo in booth 527 to get your blood pressure checked and learn more about how Emory Healthcare can help you and your family stay healthy!


About Dr. Brandon Mines

Brandon Mines, MD

Brandon Mines, MD, is an assistant professor of orthopaedics. Dr. Mines started practicing at Emory in 2005 after completing his Sports Medicine Fellowship at University of California – Los Angeles. Dr. Mines is board certified in both family practice and sports medicine. He has focused his clinical interest on sports injuries and conditions of the shoulder, elbow, wrist/hand, knee, foot and ankle. He is head team physician for the Women’s National Basketball Association’s (WNBA) Atlanta Dream and Decatur High School. He is also one of the team physicians for the Atlanta Falcons.  His areas of interest are diagnosis and non-operative management of acute sports injuries, basketball injuries, tennis injuries, golf injuries and joint injections.