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Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
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Experience:  Medical Doctor (MD): Board-Certified Family Doctor
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Hello! Ive been experiencing some strange

Customer Question

Hello! I''ve been experiencing some strange sensations in my legs. Basically, when I walk, I get this feeling like there''s a string in my thigh and it''s pulled too tightly. I used to get similar sensations in my feet, with the only difference being that it felt like a piece of straw breaking. It isn''t the entire muscle, just one long, thin string-like area of pain. It happens at least a few times a week, with both legs, though more frequently on the left side. If it helps, I''ve been also experiencing muscle spasms. Please, help me. This sometimes stops me in my tracks, it hurts so much. I''m only 19, average height and weight, and no diseases that would have anything to do with this (as far as I know).
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 8 years ago.

Hi Cheryl,

This sounds a LOT like a condition called:


ITBS is an inflammatory condition involving tissue called the Iliotibial band.

These links explain ITBS in much more [and accurate] detail, including what you should do to treat it. After reviewing, feel free to reply back with a followup question.

Hope this helps--take care,

Dr. Steve

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi Dr. Steve!

Thanks for taking my question.
I noticed on the websites that the problem I am having is mostly associated with the knee. My pain occurs primarily in the outside of my thigh. It doesn't happen with any really strenuous activity -rather, it can happen just from walking around the office. Also, the sites didn't mention the type of pain I'm experiencing. Do you have any other ideas as to what this might be?
Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 8 years ago.


Here's link from :

  • Iliotibial band syndrome. This occurs when the ligament that extends from the outside of your pelvic bone to the outside of your tibia (iliotibial band) becomes so tight that it rubs against the outer portion of your femur. [this is referring to outside portion of thigh here]. Distance runners are especially susceptible to iliotibial band syndrome, which generally causes a sharp, burning pain in the knee that often begins 10 to 15 minutes into a run. [but certainly it can occur in non-athletes also]. Initially, the pain goes away with rest, but in time it may persist when you walk or go up and down stairs.
  • So--the AREA of your symptoms IS consistent with ITBS. It doesn't HAVE to occur with strenuous activity: that is just what they call "textbook cases". You have to remember--there are a variety of possible symptom-presentations. The exact TYPE/degree/nature of pain can vary as well.

    Other possiblities:

    • Tendonitis
    • Muscle spasms

    [the treatment for these are very similar...including R.I.C.E. that's mentioned in the links I gave; as well as Physical Therapy].

    I still think ITBS is the most likely...I have managed a number of cases in my practice--and a few had IDENTICAL presentations as yours; again, there is no ONE precise presentation--there is a wide variety. Of course, there is no real substitute for seeing your doctor in person, to get a detailed exam done.

    Hope this helps,

    Dr. Steve

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