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Daniel L. IT band syndrome

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Guest, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.


    In short, here's my story: I was an avid runner for 15 years, then developed crippling IT band syndrome five years ago,( add some significant stressors at the time,) and the acute running " injury" turned into a chronic pain pattern of hip, low back pain which was pretty intense at times. I had a lot of fear and anxiety and was really shaken up for several years. I stopped running , desperately did all the tests and all the conventional and alternative treatments for 4 years to no avail, and only since I found this site and entered into therapy and read and followed your program that I have significantly improved. I really am so thankful to have found this site! I am almost pain free most of the time!

    In the meantime, I have always been doing gradually increasing exercies -mild strengthening , stretching and recumbent bike and walking aerobics pretty consistently and thus am in pretty good shape --all the time improving in my pain and feeling better. But here's the crux of my question--Because I have been feeling so good, I decided to try running again today for the first time in five years. I was soooo excited but also a little wary. I wanted to feel like my normal self again. In any case, after doing a very mild first "run" ( run one minute, walk two minutes for thirty minutes) I soon developed the exact same pain pattern that I had 5 years ago. The same IT issues came up with the knee pain and hip pain, such that I am limping now with an ice pack on my knee! Not bad pain, but noticeable. Is it my TMS? Is my body just programmed to developed this pain pathway? Or is my body just not meant for running ( every test has come back negative).? I guess it's hard to know whether to keep gradually at this mild running regimen as some have suggested ( knowing it is likely fear and TMS?) or stop while I am ahead and keep with my regular non-running routine?

    Any thoughts? Thanks so much for any help. I certainly don't want to go backwards!
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2016
  2. Daniel G Lyman LCSW

    Daniel G Lyman LCSW TMS Therapist

    Congratulations on all of the success you’ve had so far – that’s great! It’s always great to hear TMS success stories.

    So, now to your current pain. If, as you stated, that all of your tests have come back negative for anything structurally wrong with your body, then yes, this is absolutely TMS. The fact that you’re writing this question the very day that you have this pain is indicative of how anxious and scared you are by this returning pain. Also, you say the pain isn’t bad, and that helps to explain a lot.

    Anecdote time: One day, after a particularly intense session with a client who was really freaked out by his pain (to the point of shaking anxiously as he spent the entire session talking about his pain), I said to him something to the effect of “Well, when you’re having 10 out of 10 pain like you’ve been having…” and then he cut me off.

    He said “10 out of 10?! No, no. It’s more like 2 out of 10.”

    At that point, I dropped whatever it was I was going to say, and we switched topics. I was surprised, however, that with only 2 out of 10 pain that someone could be so horrified as to anxiously shake. I went to my boss and explained the situation, unsure of how someone could have such a low pain tolerance. He stopped me right there and reminded me that we, as TMS people, are not dealing with low pain tolerance, but rather a low fear tolerance.

    And that’s exactly what was going on with this particular client. He was terrified of his 2 out of 10 pain because he didn’t know what it meant. He wasn’t confident that his pain was TMS and so his fear got the best of him. The fear of the what the pain could mean was way worse than his 2 out of 10 pain.

    All of that is to say that I think your fear has tricked you. You’ve been steadily getting better for a while now, and you came across a hurdle (one with particularly strong memories attached) and your pain came back. You are unsure of what it means (despite the fact that you have nothing structurally wrong) and so the fear took hold.

    Remind yourself that there is nothing structurally wrong with you, and move forward. Ease yourself into running again, but remember, success is not whether your pain shows up or not, it’s how little you care about it. When you go for a run again, your pain will probably come back, but it doesn't matter, because you know exactly what's going on. You're smarter than your pain. Don't let your pain get the best of you by scaring you.

    Any advice or information provided here does not and is not intended to be and should not be taken to constitute specific professional or psychological advice given to any group or individual. This general advice is provided with the guidance that any person who believes that they may be suffering from any medical, psychological, or mindbody condition should seek professional advice from a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions. No general advice provided here should be taken to replace or in any way contradict advice provided by a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions.

    The general advice and information provided in this format is for informational purposes only and cannot serve as a way to screen for, identify, or diagnose depression, anxiety, or other psychological conditions. If you feel you may be suffering from any of these conditions please contact a licensed mental health practitioner for an in-person consultation.

    Questions may be edited for brevity and/or readability.

    Aimee88 and freedomseeker like this.
  3. cishealing

    cishealing Peer Supporter

    Daniel, I found this answer to be super helpful for me. Thank you! I'm not quite ready to start running again, but every day I'm working my way back to it.

  4. jim

    jim Newcomer

  5. jim

    jim Newcomer

    As a avid student of TMS and also a bodywork therapist I find TMS is frequently involved in ITB conditions because of its attachment to the glute max muscle. Glute max is highly effected by TMS.
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Cee, Slow but steady regarding running. Have you tried running at home, in place?
  7. cishealing

    cishealing Peer Supporter

    Walt, right now I'm working on faster and longer walking. As I get more confidence (and less fear) I plan on trying walk/run intervals. I am delighted to even be having this conversation. :)
  8. Stefan

    Stefan Newcomer

    Dear Daniel,

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful and helpful response. I think you nailed it. I went running again this evening, and tried to ease it just a little, but mostly went in psychologically not caring whether I would feel any pain. I knew what it was, knew it wouldn't damage me and knew I could handle it. And guess what.....no pain. Go figure.

    So thank you. And thanks to the other comments as well. I am definitely on the road to recovery!
  9. Dexy

    Dexy Peer Supporter

    Hi there!

    I am really struggling with IT band pain while running, after having cured myself of my other TMS conditions (previously sacroiliac, hip, buttock pain). I am certain this is TMS, as I haven't done anything differently physically. I took a week or so off of running and decided to go today. I experienced so much pain and anger and all of the fear emotions. I tried getting angry at my pain, tried running harder and totally ignoring it, yet it plagued me the entire way and ruined my run and my day:(

    I'm just so upset and scared because I finally cured myself of all of my other physical issues using the TMS approach for about six months plus now, and then this has cropped up and really thrown me for a loop.

    Just looking for some words of encouragement and your thoughts on whether this IT band pain is indeed TMS.

    Thank you :)
  10. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    How 'bout going for a walk instead and see what happens after about twenty minutes.
  11. Dexy

    Dexy Peer Supporter

    I walk everyday to work for around this amount of time, and I can feel my IT band but it's not making me unable to walk or in any real pain, it's just a little bothersome (probably more mentally/emotionally, but also physically).

    I appreciate the suggestion but I'm not sure how this relates to it being TMS or not, can you elaborate? :)
  12. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wasn't sure how incapacitated you were regarding your ability to move. It's good you can ambulate, some here are bed-bound or in wheel chairs. I understand what it's like not to be be able to do your favorite form of exercise, I ran 13 marathons and did at least 30 minutes daily for several decades, usually after work and races on the weekends. I still run, but it's in the pool, with a flotation, belt at least 30 minutes daily listening to a waterproof FM radio. You may want to try that until your IT band/TMS? attack subsides. Sometimes you just have to give it a rest, wait it out, give it a try, sleep on it, see what works, etc., etc., etc.,--the TMS gremlin can be an unpredictable bugger. Hopefully your pain will just fade.
  13. intense50

    intense50 Well known member

    this is a good post I was free of back pain and piriformis but since running a half marathon Oct 9 I get left butt pain and this morning a had IT band syndrome down to the side of my knee and my leg gave out twice. I still ran home but I am new to running and so I don't know how to really tell if its a runners injury or overuse or tms.
  14. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    If you're new to running then a half-marathon was a very long distance. I've run 13 marathons and I probably didn't do a half until years after doing weekly 10k races. Did you experience trauma when doing the half? If you were able to finish and drive home, you probably didn't. You may just be sore and your sub-c wants to give you TMS. This is all speculation knowing next to nothing about the details of your circumstances. There's a TMS expert/runner Monte Hueftle, who contributes here from time to time, wrote a book, has a website and does consults. Run it by him :

    http://www.runningpain.com/ (The TMS Master Practice Program - The New-Sarno TMS Program - Home)
  15. intense50

    intense50 Well known member

    I had left hip tightness after the race but felt good during. Was sore for a few days while after. I bicycle and skate no problems . After running things settle down and no major discomfort just a bit. Walkwith a slight limp. 2 or 3 days off running and feel great. It's just I miss running when off. Had an mri of my back in March and told the doc to only tell me if I had fracture tumor or cancer. None of the above. I never had glute or hip pain until I ran the half. I will take 1 month off and if it's really inflammation or bursitis I will let it cool down. I'm 100 pc in on tms for my back and piriformis because I was not running then. I started walking slowly and progressed to running in May. This is why I am a bit mixed on overuse or strain or tms. Thanks for your input. I would like to run a marathon 1 day. Bucket list. Ran my half in 1.43 . I really like running now but I am seeing that it has its limits as far as body wear.
  16. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Congrats on you half-marathon, that's a good time.

    How are you defining "body wear"?
  17. intense50

    intense50 Well known member

    General pains hip hamstring butt . I have been reading Monte H . Thx
  18. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    If you are equating "body wear" to wearing out your anatomical structures such as your joints, this is incongruent with TMS thinking. Dr. Sarno says much of what is dx'ed by traditional allopathic medicine, on imaging, is "gray hair of the spine". They are normal anatomical anomalies, which are incorrectly blamed for the pain. I ran thirteen marathons with not a twinge of hip pain. I remember my well meaning doctor warning me that I would wear out my joints by running. I didn't believe him then, and I don't believe him now, although as far as doctor's go he was one of the better ones and I liked him. I didn't experience any hip pain until years, after I stopped running races and returned to playing competitive tennis. Tennis didn't create my hip pain either--it was triggered by two "over-extensions" doing yoga, in conjunction with a long tumultuous relationship break-up.

    Do you think you are wearing out your body with every stride you take while running?
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016
  19. intense50

    intense50 Well known member

    No what I meant was too much too soon not letting my body get accustomed. I really beleive tms I am 98% free. You still need to logical in your approach. I used to race motocross . If I tried nowI would find it very difficult with re training and getting physically fit for it.
  20. intense50

    intense50 Well known member

    Since the weather is nicer I have run more. My main thing is pain on the outer thigh . Right at the boniest part of the outer hip. Pain when a cross that leg or push with my finger in that spot. I don't know if this is sciatica or a muscle or tendon soreness or injury.

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