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UK Sports Podiatry

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TFL Injuries and Running

TFL stands for Tensor Fascia Latae. This is a rather small muscle which can be found on the outside of the hip. If you place your hands on your hip bones with the thumbs in front of the hip and fingers behind you can feel your pelvis with both thumbs. Moves the thumbs backwards slightly behind the pelvis and press in there – this is your TFL!

Tensor fasciae latae strain can be experienced by all runners, newbies and experienced runners. In some runners the pain will start in the outer hip and may extend forward to the knee. In others the initial symptoms can begin in the runner’s outer knee known as the IT band, if this progress further it can cause considerable knee pain. You may get pain lying on the affected hip and weight bearing on one side tends to be more painful.

When running, the TFL is used significantly because of the flexion (bending) and abduction (moving away) of the muscles used providing pelvic stability with dominate one-sided bearing of weight. Should the gluteus medius abductor and stabiliser not be working in tandem with adjoining muscles, it can lead to the muscles being over stressed. This can result in trigger points that are over irritated spots in the fascia surrounded by skeletal muscle.

Stretching the TFL and trigger point treatment is great to reduce pain however it is critically important to correct stress at the TFL and any muscle imbalances in the hip region. Your running technique can also be a contributing factor to TFL pain.

If you have this condition visit our clinic for a comprehensive consultation to not only treat this condition but also treat the underlying cause of the condition.