Where is your tensor fascia latae?
Your tensor fascia latae is a small muscle at the top of your iliotibial (IT) band. It sits just below your hip and connects to the IT band that runs down the side of your leg, attaching to the outside of your knee. Its primary
role is to help flex your hip and lift your leg out to
Photo: Rehab 4 Runners
Symptoms and Causes:
Although tensor fascia latae attaches to your hip,
pain can be experienced on the outer side of your
knee. As the muscle tightens, it pulls on the IT band
(which attaches to your knee), causing pain over the
lateral aspect of your knee. You may also experience
pain at your hip or outer thigh. Tensor fascia latae
pain can be caused by activities requiring frequent flexion and abduction at the hips. If you regularly cycle, run, climb or play sport, it may explain what is causing your pain.
Tensor fascia latae muscle pain can stop you from participating in activities you enjoy, however there are simple treatments available. These are the four best ways to relieve tensor fascia latae pain:
1) Soft Tissue Occupational Therapy
Soft Tissue Occupational Therapists specialize in treating pain caused by muscle tightness. They can treat and release spasmed muscles, helping them to relax. When a muscle is relaxed, blood flow increases and the muscle can then heal. Once the muscle can begin to heal, the pain caused by the muscle tightness will decrease.
Heating muscles is a very simple and effective way to relax tight muscles. Heat also increases blood flow to the area, bringing nutrients and oxygen to the muscle. Heat packs, a warm bath or heating creams are all effective ways to warm a tight tensor fascia latae. The most effective heat creams currently available are Tiger Balm and Eagle Balm. Both contain a high percentage of the active ingredient to provide longer lasting heat.
Stretching your tensor fascia latae will also help prevent it from tightening any further and causing more pain. Stretching the muscle will help it to relax and heal. To stretch your tensor fascia latae, start in lunge with your right foot back. Lift you right arm into the arm and reach your arm over your head as you gently bend to the left. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on your left side.
Photo: Wasu Yoga
4) Foam rolling
If you have access to a foam roller, regular rolling can also assist with relaxing your tensor fascia latae muscle. Laying on your side on the floor, place the foam roller under the outside of your hip and relax your full body weight onto the roller. Using your arms to balance yourself, roll along gently up and down the muscle. The muscle is only short so you won’t need to roll all the way down your thigh. You can also roll your body inwards slightly to ensure you target all areas of the muscle. A tight tensor fascia latae muscle may be painful to roll so ensure you are doing the movements carefully and
Photo: Stone Athletic Medicine