CHARLOTTE – There’s a muscle on the outside of your hip called the Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL). You’ve felt it and if not, reach over to your hip, feel the ridge on the side of your hip and between the ridge and your hip bone, that’s your TFL. It, along with the IT band, is a superficial, taut band/muscle that extends from the gluteal region and down to the knee area. It’s main job is knee stabilization and pelvis stabilization but it also helps rotate your thigh inward and helps your knee to rotate outward. A lot of time you’ll hear people say they have to ‘loosen’ it up, but what they are really needing is to strengthen it. Who gets an injury to their TFL? Runners and cyclists might be the biggest group to have TFL issues (but you can also have a vitamin deficiency that gives the same discomfort).
How does TFL pain present itself? Pain on the outside of your thigh, from hip to knee and feeling pain when you lay on your side. Because of the location of the TFL/IT band, your hamstrings and quads might be affected. Next week we’ll talk about fascia (the ‘f’ in TFL). This will help you understand the connective tissue in your body and how everything (from head to toe) affects each other. Everything is connected, thus when one body part isn’t functioning normally, other parts follow suit.
-Lisa Lane is a licensed (#13098) massage and bodywork therapist in the Mint Hill area.