Is this ITBS or something else?

I have initially lower back pain. Its been around for about 2 years and gradually getting worse and anything from walking upwards makes it worse. Now added to that I have random groin pain which I am almost certain is connected, it hurts when I move and especially when I run. I have noticed my range of movement has decreased- I am normally hypermobile but now it really hurts and so I can't move as much. If I run or exercise too much the groin pain begins to twinge on the outside of my thigh and outter side (lateral side) of my knee. Tends to swap knees per day!

Just wondering if anyone has any hints of things I could look at as I'm a bit clueless as to where to start!

I have many aches and pains due to running, its become the norm for me so this wont stop me, but just want to know whats wrong as I know if I go to see my doctor, he/she will simply shrug her shoulders and say 'dunno', I'll be referred to a physio who will tell me I should never run again and will not offer any other advice. So I need to know what could be wrong so I can research it and try to prevent it or prevent it getting worse.


  • Jenn - have a look at Piriformis syndrome - a possibility? Also, lower back pain combined with groin or hip pain can often be attributed to poor pelvic stability. But it's not a simple thing to sort out....
  • Hi Tigerlilly,

    I do think its the periformis thats irritated- its definetly affected when I stretch anyway, but doesn;t seem to touch my back pain when I stretch and I'm now starting to wonder if they maybe are not connected- I suppose I get so hooked on our bodies being so inter-connected, if there are two issues they are nearly always as a result of each other/one original cause...referal pains..etc and so on so I just assumed they are the same thing. But now I'm starting to think its the opposite.

    I find that stretching does effect it...but only while I am stretching. It seems to have no effect what so ever on it twinging when I start to run, (there is no pain or anything like as much irritation when I sit or lie down or stand still). I read that periformis syndrome is a type of siatica which worries me as I know of quite a few people who have this and it seems nothing helps them when it flares up! I had tried pain killers (but pain killers do little to help with any pain I get anyway!) and aside from streching which seems to help me feel like I'm doing something (it doesn't get rid of the pain, it just touches the area twinging). When I get -what I feel is related- knee pain, it isn't as if I can feel anything bad with my thigh so if siatica is supposed to crawl along my leg, this is not doing that. I have to say, I really hope it isn't siatica! Does anyone think it could be anything else?

  • Piriformis problems cause sciatica-like issues simply because the sciatic nerve paases through or underneath the piriformis muscle.  So if the muscle becomes tight or inflammed it presses on the nerve.  Sciatica feels like a dull tooth-ache like pain running dowm the back of the leg (or legs) into the back of the knee and sometimes to the ankles.

    Low back pain - your initial symptom - can be caused by many different things but generally most can be helped by increasing pelvic stability - core strength. Stretching is not the thing to do without also strenghtening, the two go hand in hand.  In my opinion it is unlikely that the two are not connected - the lower back, gluteal and pelvic areas are all connected and muscle imbalance in these areas is very common.  If you get such an imbalance it's hard to pinpoint the exact cause.  A good physio could help - he could test out your strength/weakness in key mucsles. But be wary - some physios tend to treat the "symptoms" rather than finding out the cause. If you've had this for 2 years.... I sympathise. I've been through it and it's extremely frustrating.  If it becomes chronic sorting it out takes time, pain and very hard work!  The one thing I can suggest is Pilates -  It's been an eyeopener and a real help but a good teacher is essential to ensure you are actually using the correct muscles.  If it feels "easy" you're not doing right! 

  • Hi Jennn

    Take a look at TFL (tensor fascia lata) trigger points and femero acetabular impingement for starters.
    Always consider the back!

  • TFL definately worth a look.
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