Hip Flexor/TFL/Adductor Pain

Due to the complexity of the muscles and functionality of the pelvic/lower extremities, there are a vast array of trouble areas that arise with discomfort and further complications. The confinement of these muscles are in such close proximity that almost always there will be what are referred to as compensation pains and symptoms.

Our first point of focus zero’s into the medial buttock with the Tensor Fasciae Latae (TFL). Originating on the Anterior Superior Illiac Spine (ASIS) as the muscle body (Hip flexor) allows for flexion in the pelvic region as well as abduction, and due to the insertion on the lateral condyle of the tibia, also allows lateral rotation of the distal femur. Lastly the TFL contributes and stabilizes pelvic functions while additionally performing medial femoral rotation. These actions are assisted by the gluteus medius, minimus and maximus.

Often when the TFL is hypertonic (over worked and very taught) lateral knee pain will arise mimicking that of lateral cruciate ligament (LCL) sprain. This is however not true and is due to the increased tension in the tendon body running in the illiotibial tract.

Managing this hypertonicity of the TFL/IT Band is severely important sooner than later to avoid further complications due to compensation strains. Addressing these issues are easy but need diligent attention.

Stretches involve laying flat on your back with legs extended, with the affected side slightly flex the knee whilst addicting the knee across the pelvis into slight rotation. To increase the intensity of the stretch slowly extend the knee during the stretch and a slight burning pain will be felt in the IT band.

Another stretch is to sit with the knees flexed and arms extended behind the body for support. Pick up the affected leg and place the ankle onto the opposite knee. To increase stretch intensity either bring opposite knee into more flexion or alternatively increasing the external rotation of the affected femur (push the knee to the floor)

Alternate treatment includes using a high density foam roller on the outside of the affected thigh and finding trigger points and maintaining pressure for approximately 3-5sec then moving to the next tender spot (trigger point). *Do NOT foam roll across the knee joint while performing this treatment.

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