Running Pains: My ITBS Vanished, Ironman Mile 13

First Try Kinematic Solution

To Your Running Pains

running pains: ITBS

This will stop you running, every time!

Many running pains can be fixed

by changing how you move.

This led to the

Simple Movement Therapy Method

Let me tell you a story of ITBS running pains!

Running pains: Ignaz Semmelweis washing his hands

Ignaz failed to convince his physician colleagues of the value of hand washing.

When it comes to science, many scientists think that you have to do a double-blind trial to make a discovery. Or it’s not real research. This caused our work on plantar fasciitis to be labeled ‘junk science‘ by one scientist I know.

Ignaz, single-handedly, realized that washing his hands could save many lives. No one believed him, but many women survived child-birth because he had this insight – before infectious organisms were discovered. It took years for the medical establishment to catch on!

Running pains: John snow pump handle

Was this just an anecdote, or did it help solve the riddle of how Cholera is spread?

John Snow, based on a ‘hunch,’ removed the pump handle from a local water pump, and stopped a cholera outbreak in it’s tracks. Did he need to do a double blind trial, with many pumps, before he knew he was onto something important?

This time, they listened:

“He advised the removal of the pump handle as the grand prescription.  The Vestry was incredulous but had the good sense to carry out the advice.  The pump handle was removed and the plague was stayed.”

I feel like Ignaz, when I tell people to stop letting their doctors inject cortisone into their heels for plantar fasciitis. Or into their knees for knee pain, before studying their biomechanics, for that matter. It’s not only generally ineffective, it’s dangerous.

If you dare to look, see the effect of a plantar fasciitis cortisone injection  gone wrong.

Running pains: MRSA infection contracted from cortisone injection of plantar fasciitis.

This patient contracted MRSA (dangerous, antibiotic resistant bacteria) infection from a cortisone injection administered in a hospital. Photo used with permission.

Cortisone injections into the heel, for treating plantar fasciitis, have been studied using a standardized experimental approach.

An Australian study demonstrated symptomatic improvement, in some individuals. However, the improvement only lasted up to four(4) weeks.

It is pretty obvious that a painful injection into the dense tissue of your heel will change the way you move. If you can move! There are dozens of different treatments, all of which have the potential to change the way one would get about. The relative effectiveness of these treatments, based on our research, was shown in a recent blog post.

Our work revealed that changing one’s shoes is most often effective for curing plantar fasciitis symptoms, while cortisone injections are the least beneficial. Doctors have saved my life, but they still tend to favor pills and injections, over a life-style change. You have to decide for yourself, each time. Do you just trust your doctor, or take their recommendations under advisement, and choose more wisely?

This issue extends to undertaking sports, after a major health challenge. In fact, this is where this blog came from in the first place. I was advised against continuing Ironman training with an abdominal aortic aneurysm stent graft, but I did it anyway – glad I did. Ironman saved my life from the aneurysm in the first place. Once again, listen to your doctor, but think it through, considering all relevant issues.

What about my story of ITBS?

It was a long time ago, in a previous life. I mean before I found my abdominal aortic aneurysm, in 2010. Was it 2007 or 2008, I forget. I wasn’t blogging in those days, so I have no written records. But I remember it well.

I was an Ironman-distance beginner. It’s a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and a full 26.2-mile marathon. A long, but exciting, day. If you’re trained for it. Which I kind of was! As I finished the bike leg, I started to feel a little less sure of myself. I thought, “I’ve got to run a marathon now. But my legs are shot! Can I do it?” Self-doubt can be a problem, while reasonable caution is fine.”

I went into the run unsure of myself! As I headed out, I met a friend. She was a slow, but steady runner. I thought, maybe if I go easy I’ll be fine for this run. So go slow we did. At about mile 7, the intense knee pain of ITBS set in. My response was to walk-run, even slower. Hobbling into the turn around at mile-13 (it’s a double half-marathon loop), I saw my excited family members, ready to run the sidewalk with me as I headed out on the second loop. Oh! Boy! What’s to do?

Then a thought popped into my head. “What am I doing? I’m not running as I trained. I can do this.” Deb, Jess and Nick, appeared, shouting encouragement. So I imagined running the trails around our neighborhood, picked up my pace, and RAN. The ITBS pain in my knee melted away in moments. Gone! It was magic. All I did was change the way I was running.

I negative split that Ironman marathon, by 22 minutes. I’ve never had ITBS since.

No rolling, no deep massage, no trigger point work, no dry needling, no metal scrapers, just a kinematic adjustment, to fix my nociceptive running pains.

You might call this anecdotal data. Not me! It’s an observation of real value, for ITBS, plantar fasciitis, and many other running pains.

Happy Trails,



Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.