You just came home from your vacation on the beach and now every time you sit down for any length of time your hip is killing you! What is up with that?!
Trigger points in the TFL refer into the hip right at the hip joint and down the side of the thigh into the knee. You would probably describe it as either Iliotibial aka. IT band pain or a bursitis type pain or maybe even arthritis in the hip.
The TFL is most active during the heel strike portion of running or stepping up, like climbing a ladder or steep stairs.
Trigger points become active in the TFL from sudden trauma or chronic overload. If you are a runner and you are constantly running up and down hills, you will more than likely get trigger points in the TFL. Also if you jump down from a high position, the shock of it will probably cause trigger points in it as well. Regular walking on sloped surfaces such as a beach is a problem for this muscle and you will make this muscle mad if you sleep on sit with the hips at a 90 degree angle or less, so you’ll want to avoid the fetal sleeping position.
You can test if you have trigger points in the TFL. Do you tend to stand with the hip slightly flexed? Do you have a hard time leaning backwards? Does the pain when walking disappear if you walk with crutches? Do you stand with a forward tilt of the pelvis or have a big curve in your lower back?
Here’s the fixes:
1. Don’t sit crisscross applesauce.
2. When sleeping or sitting, keep the hip angle greater than 90 degrees.
(This means sleep on your back with no pillow under your knees also sit on a chair that slopes downward or at least put something under your booty to simulate that)
3. Use cruise control whenever possible.
4. Avoid walking or jogging hills until the trigger points go away.
5. Avoid walking or running on sloped surfaces.
6. Do the exercises in this video.
7. Get a massage.