I was stretching my hip flexors with right foot on the left leg pulling my head toward my right foot and I heard a pop. I have subsequently developed pain on the outside of my right knee and some stiffness. Coincidently, I had a Dr. appointment with my GP the same afternoon and I asked him about it. He quickly (immediately pointing to where it hurt) suggested it was iliotibial band syndrome. Looking it up, it ITBS seems to be a repetitive strain injury for runners, not the result of pressure to the inside of the knee and perhaps I have strained my LCL. I guess the result would be the same (RICE) but I am a bit worried- I have a big 2 week AK trip starting in a week. LTBS sounds a lot less serious than LCL damage. Should I see a specialist? Does anyone have experience with healing/treating the above 2? How long does it take to heal? I guess I am asking, is my AK trip in jeopardy (right now it seems to be not that limiting but it seems to be stiffening over the afternoon)?
I agree that ITBS is unlikely. That's just not how it works. It's pretty hard to injure your LCL without a pretty substantial force. I'd be surprised if you could do it to yourself, but anything is possible. Other possibilities are lateral meniscus or simply a muscle strain. Normally I'd say give it some time, but with the big trip coming up, you might want to get it checked out by a specialist. I'm surprised he didn't call it a "sprain." That's usually the catch-all phrase when they don't know what the hell is going on. If it does end up being your ITB, the foam roller pictured above is the ticket.
It looks like my GP was right and I am a medical oddity. While neither the specialist nor the physio had ever seen a accute iliotibia band injury, physical checks indicated that I did indeed injure it. It seems that a knee to the upper thigh followed by repeated kicks that I took in a kickboxing match a week before tightened everything up in the area and pre-disposed me to hurting my ITB.
I too had an acute ITB injury about 3 years ago, from skiing. I was cruising along pretty fast on a traverse, not paying attention, and my balance got too far to the left. You know, one of those stupid tip-over things. But I knew there were a bunch of people behind me, so I didn't want to fall. I basically ended up in a full squat on my left leg, hip almost on ground, right leg in air, and stood back up. (Yes, dangerous to ACL)
I was sort of proud for not falling, but when I did it, I sort of blew up my IT band. (Apparently I'm NOT Bode Miller.) It was severely irritated for a couple of months; I went to pt the whole time: iced, massaged, foam rolled, e-stimmed, etc, and it was STUBBORN. Would not get better.
Finally my therapist needled it (look up IMS/dry needling), which worked like a charm. I was pretty much healed after the first session, but I had two to be sure. Since then I've been needled in my neck, back, hip, shoulder, etc. It's the miracle cure, ha.
Anyway, if you have any issues in healing your ITB, look into it. (It isn't the same as traditional Chinese acupuncture.)