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Tensor Fasciae Latae MuscleI recently had the dubious pleasure of discovering a new muscle in my body. The muscle is called the Tensor Fasciae Latae. This lovely little muscle is located in the hip area. If you haven’t discovered yours, count yourself lucky.

How I discovered My Tensor Fasciae Latae

I started running again. I decided to get up from the computer and get out running. I had been sedentary for the last couple of months so I thought it was time to get things back on track so I went for a 1-mile run followed by a 1-mile walk. I felt great. I came home and stretched and all was right with the world, or at least I thought all was right with the world.

As the day wore on I noticed some pain around the hip area. It hurt when I walked, moved in certain ways and it also hurt to the touch. For a quick moment, I wondered if this was the beginning signs of osteoporosis and the need for hip replacement surgery (I’m not really a hypochondriac, but my brother just had his hip replaced so the thought was on my mind). Then I thought about it for a moment, since it was painful to the touch; that meant muscle pain…whew!

Because of my advancing years, I decided to rest a day before the next run. I ran the same distance and later in the day the pain was even worse. Not being one to give in, I rested another day and ran a third time. This time the pain was so bad, there was no way that one day of rest would be enough for me to run again.

Calling it Quits

I decided to call it quits until I got in chiropractic adjustment. I assumed that I was out of alignment thus causing my lopsided hip pain. I explained the problem to my chiropractor and he basically gave me a stretching exercise, told me to stop being a wuss and get out there and run. So after he adjusted me, I went running the next day.

Excruciating Hip PainThe Inflammation Syndrome

That running advice was bad advice. The pain was so bad that I had to pull out the ibuprofen (I don’t like taking medicine). I assumed the muscle was inflamed so along with the ibuprofen I ate anti-inflammatory foods and walked around with ice in my hip pocket, 20 minutes on, and 20 minutes off. I did that for the remainder of the day.

Time to Find the Root of the Problem

I decided to find out what was causing the problem and address it head-on. That’s when I discovered that the offending muscle is called the Tensor Fasciae Latae (TFL). It’s a neat little muscle located just on the outside of the hip. The muscle engages when you put one foot in front of the other. Here’s a better explanation of what the Tensor Fasciae Late muscle does and how it works.

After finding out what the TFL does and how it works, I found this article that explained why mine hurt so bad and how I caused it to hurt.  One of the causes is an increase in mileage or physical activity. So I guess when you go from sitting on your rear end to running a mile that’s a marked increase in physical activity. Other contributing factors can include (but are not limited to) a leg imbalance, sedentary lifestyle, being out of shape, uneven muscle development or just plain old getting older. Whatever the reason, my TFL is a little pissed off.TFL

Fixing the Problem

From what I’ve read, the first thing to do is to stop the acute pain (that’s a no-brainer). No one likes to be in pain.

Once the pain has subsided, stretching the muscle is a good idea. There are a few stretching exercises that I came across that seem to target the Tensor Fasciae Latae muscle. It involves standing straight and crossing the leg of the non-affected hip over the leg of the affected hip (balance yourself first), then lean to the side of the non-affected hip. This helps to stretch the FTL. I’ve been doing this several times a day (even though I’m still in the pain stage).

It appears that the next step is to condition and strengthen the appropriate muscles. I’m still a little fuzzy on how to do this. I’m looking at a few sites that have interesting exercises to help rectify my FTL problem.

In the meanwhile, I’ve taken to biking instead. I’m still working on reducing the inflammation and pain (pedaling doesn’t seem to bother the TFL) in preparation for the next step.

If anyone has sound advice on how to recover from an angry TFL, I’d love to hear it.

About the author: Felicia has learned the hard way that health, whether good or bad, is a result of daily choices and habits. On this blog, Felicia shares what she’s learned and the healthier choices she now makes as a result of her new knowledge. She hopes to encourage others to experiment to find alternative solutions to nagging problems (she’s also is a bit of a tree hugger and likes to share ways to lighten the toxic burden on the environment).

in Aging, As We Age, Fitness, Injuries, Running, Tensor Fasciae Latae

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  • Kelli Ann March 26, 2019, 7:45 pm

    I’m an athlete and weight lifter. My right TFL is a mess. Look into your SI Joint and determine whether or not your problem is stemming from hyper mobility. The TFL over engages to make up for your si joint flailing around. It also compensates for weak glutes, over developed quads and tight hamstrings. If you sit most of the day, your hip flexors are probably tighter than tight, which causes the tfl to over act. Usually the TFL on our dominate side is the problem. In people who don’t exercise and then suddenly start jarring joints around after age 30-35, especially running, the small under active muscles suddenly turn on and over act. Once it happens it’s so hard to reverse the problem. Try using a tennis ball on your TFL in the side lying position and do clam shells & one legged bicycles (on the effected side). You could also do ultra sound and a shot of cortisone 🙂

    • Heather May 2, 2019, 8:17 am

      Hello Kelli! I have an inflamed TFL and have been doing glute band exercises, massage/release of psoas/hammies/glute and was curious your thoughts on using the tennis ball ON the TFL since it’s inflamed. I don’t want to aggravate it even more. Does that make sense?

  • Dominique July 17, 2018, 1:28 pm

    I tore my TFL running upstairs and treatment was shock thing that sounds like a rock drill and apparently breaks down scar tissue. I also had PRP therapy ( they take blood, spin it until the plasma separates from the red blood cells then inject the plasma back into the injured area…). That coupled with physiotherapy worked well until i tried to run again before being given the go-ahead to do so! Advice: wait until you are FULLY healed before resuming strenuous exercise…

    • Felicia July 17, 2018, 4:30 pm

      Dominique, the treatment sounds intense.

      I agree 100% with you that you must wait until the TFL if fully healed before resuming strenuous exercise. Exercising too early in the healing process is not only painful but prolongs the healing process.

  • TimU February 20, 2017, 3:09 am

    I’m an avid bowler and I injured my TFL during a tournament a few weeks ago. I’ve tried the stretches, exercises, ice, ointments and anti-inflammatories and still have the pain. I’m curious if an injection would help for the pain so I can continue to bowl.

    • Felicia February 22, 2017, 9:02 pm

      Tim, I’m not very familiar with medical injections. I’m sure a doctor will find something that will alleviate the pain so you can bowl. The problem with injections is sometimes the side effects are worse than the original injury.

      • TimU March 7, 2017, 1:58 am

        I had a few injections and the pain subsided for a few days but now my lower leg and foot feels like they’re asleep all of the time. I’m trying to do some research on the side effects. I hope it’s not nerve issues too. Curious

        • Felicia March 7, 2017, 12:31 pm

          Tim, I’m curious to know what was in the injection?

    • Deb October 19, 2017, 9:34 pm

      I discovered today at my 2nd physical therapy session that my TFL might be part of my 5 week hip problem. The therapist massaged the hip and hit this area and I felt a jolt of pain. I have been dealing with hip pain for over a month. It started gradually with pain on the side of my leg from top of thigh to knee. The pain has moved all over the place and has now settled in the front crease of my leg and the upper side. Tthe worst part of this is taking a step after sitting or after sleeping. The pain in the front and side of thigh is excruciating with the first few steps and my leg even feels a little weak. Once I walk a bit, it really eases up. My doctor decided that I have hip bursitis as well as IT band syndrome, but I think this TFL problem is going on as well. I was told to use a cane which I think helps. Walking up stairs is one-legged with the cane. There are times in the middle of the day when I don’t even need to use the cane and feel practically nothing. This is an exasperating problem. I am an extremely active 66 year old who still ice dances 5 times a week. I also use a Nordic track and rebound. Of course, I am now doing NOTHING. Glad to have found these posts. I see my doc for a follow- up and will mention this TFL issue. Will let everyone know what he says. I’m also interested in trying the groin support that several have mentioned. I think this may have started with going up and down the stairs clearing out closets. I was taking everything to my basement which meant 2 sets of stairs. I did this for 4 days straight.

      • Felicia October 20, 2017, 7:29 am

        Oh Deb, I feel your pain! I remember how not only painful, but frustrating it is to have such issues without an easy resolution. Such injuries/conditions are very upsetting when your so used to being active.

        I hope some of the tips offered here by the various comments help. I’m very interested to hear how things go with your follow up doctor’s visit.

        • Deb October 20, 2017, 1:06 pm

          I will keep you informed as to my progress. I have also found that using a heating pad before I get up after sitting and especially before getting up in the morning has really helped with the initial sharp pain of walking. I know everyone who has posted here feels the same sense of exasperation when you have to give up all of your physical activities. The fear also sets in. I keep thinking about stress fractures or some other hidden cause for this very painful situation. My physical therapist is the one I’m leaning on at this point. She recommends continued rest, ice, heat, a cane,TENs unit, and physical therapy of course. We will work on stretching and strengthening the hip region. She claims that my pain and the duration is not unusual especially if hip bursitis is part of this. But she also says the hip region has many areas that can become strained, and it’s sometimes hard to pinpoint exactly what’s going on. So I guess all roads lead to physical therapy. Thanks to everyone who has shared.

  • Samir February 11, 2017, 5:10 am

    I want to thank everyone for their comments here. I’m not a runner. In fact, I don’t do any regular exercise, but I never had a pain like I did a few days ago. After I sat on the ground to do some work. I thought I just needed some stretching as it felt like a burn/tear. So I did. Bad mistake. Just an hour later, I could no longer walk, sleep, or sit without severe pain.

    After reading and researching, I discovered I had damaged my TFL. Made sense too since I had been mostly sitting and working for the last few days and not been standing regularly–really bad for the TFL.

    Luckily, I had pain like this once before in my shoulder, and the cure was immobilization so it could heal. But immobilizing the TFL was a whole new challenge. After two days, I finally figured out a position in bed where I could sleep for 1-2hrs at a time, and thanks to my normal high protein diet full of omega 3s, the next morning I could actually feel the repairs done overnight by my body. Last night I felt even more repair.

    But even with the repair, just one torsional movement and the pain would strike, damaging some of the repair in the process. But that was finally addressed earlier today with the arrival of the Neo G groin support recommended in the comments. It has reduced accidental torsional movements by 90%, and I think I’ll even have the ability to walk normally by tomorrow morning. Thank you!! And for anyone looking to buy one, buying from Amazon was the fastest and cheapest way to get one since they could ship it overnight for less than just the cost of it from anywhere else.

    I’ve never felt pain like this before, but I’m happy to know that there are others who have dealt with it and were nice enough to pass on the knowledge of how to heal faster. Thank you all so much.

    • Felicia February 11, 2017, 1:26 pm

      Samir, thanks for sharing your journey. I’m happy to hear that the Neo G groin support worked for you. It’s good to read a first-hand successful resolution for healing TFL pain. If my TFL ever acts up again, I’ll make sure to pick one up (I’ve added the Amazon link to the item for quick access).

  • Robin Aufhammer May 29, 2016, 3:32 pm

    PS. I am still doing mild physical therapy excersizes, mild walks, stretching, while I wear the wrap. Doesn’t seem to irritate my TFL. Also as with my SI belt instructions from my Pain Dr, I will be wearing it when I excersize, hike, run, etc in the future. I wear it under all clothing. Non irritating. Hope this is really helpful to others!!!


    • Felicia May 30, 2016, 5:56 pm

      Wow, Thanks for the update. I’ll look into it to see what it’s all about.

      Glad it’s working for you.

      • Robin Aufhammer May 30, 2016, 8:38 pm

        I just looked the thigh/groin support up on the web site and it is 888B. Thigh groin support. It wraps around your low waist and top of thigh. Good because it doesn’t slip down your leg. I’m still feeling a bit of a twing after day 5 but definitely much better. It may take a few weeks to heal.


      • Pam Lawrence August 20, 2016, 2:16 pm

        I have had constant TFL pain for over 2 years now. Four orthopedics, 6 cortisone shots, and 1 inter-joint cortisone shot have not helped. PT (x2 rounds), daily stretching exercises, and 3x weekly workouts at the gym have given no significant relief. Has anyone had a surgical TFL; does the procedure even help? I am a 69 year old, once athletic woman at wits end!

        • Felicia August 20, 2016, 2:52 pm

          Sorry to hear about your struggles, Pam. Sounds like you aggressively went about resolving your TFL paing. Hopefully someone with surgical TFL experience can answer your question.

          For me, I found extended rest resolved my issue. I chose exercises that barely engaged my injured/painful muscles. Over time it seemed to have resolved itself.

          • Robin August 21, 2016, 2:13 am

            I posted a few months ago about the neoprene thigh wrap that I was using for my TFL problem. Here is my current update. It worked really well!! I ended up wearing it mostly at night because that was when I would cramp up, and with excersize. I am pretty much over my TFL!! Yea!!!! I did have a very mild flare up, went to my chiropractor and had some therapeutic ultrasound in the upper thigh, and he really worked on my tight glutes. That was several weeks ago, and I’m still doing well. Walking and doing mild excersize without the wrap. No pain at night. So happy! I hope others do try the wrap and maybe find a sports oriented chiropractor.

          • Felicia August 23, 2016, 2:03 pm

            Robin, thanks for coming back and giving us an update. I’m so glad that the wrap worked for you. Maybe it will help other readers too.

          • Pam Lawrence October 2, 2016, 3:23 pm

            I’m 2 1/2 weeks post surgery and recovery is slow, but the pain is gone. Now I am rebuilding and strengthening. The surgeon removed a very large and inflamed bursa that was not going to quit “the fight” without his help. A diamond cut in the fascia lengthened the tendon to prevent further aggravation. PT is the key at this point; rest was no longer an option.

          • Felicia October 3, 2016, 5:36 pm

            Pam, so sorry you had to undergo surgery, but I’m happy that it resolved the issue.

            Ugh, gotta love PT! 🙂 I wish you a speedy recovery!

  • Robin Aufhammer May 29, 2016, 2:40 pm

    I would like to update all who read this on my TFL inflammation, strain, whatever!! I tried everything and was about to get expensive acupuncture when I happened upon a web site for a thigh wrap for thigh strains, TFL inflammation. I ordered it! One size fits all which is good, a little hard to put on since the velcro attaches in the back (think contortionist), but low and behold after 2 days of wearing it, I am so much better!! Not quite gone yet but no limping all morning and the TFL seems to be healing. To date I have been wearing it 4 days and will probably continue for a week or two, then wean off of it. I decided to try this because I have an SI belt for when I strain my SI joints, and it works, so I thought, why not try this. So if anyone else wants to try it it’s called Neo G Groin Support and I ordered it on Amazon. The web site on the box is Neo-g.com. I am not doing anything else. No rolling on balls or deep tissue massages because this is working so well. Not even on anti inflammitories!!! I would recommend it to try. Couldn’t hurt!


  • Robin Aufhammer May 24, 2016, 12:14 am

    I agree with all of the advice about dealing with this anoying TFL inflammation. I find massage, anti inflammitories, topical menthol type cream, resting it, stretching it, ice, muscle stim, and muscle relaxant med at night as that is when it tightens up. Even with all this, it’s taking its sweet time to calm down! May try acupuncture next. I have had other inflammations helped by this method when all else fails!


    • Felicia May 24, 2016, 12:43 pm

      Sounds like you have the right protocol for healing your TFL. I didn’t try acupuncture when my TFL flared up, but I wish I did. Good luck with it.

    • Mary October 31, 2016, 12:50 am

      I’ve been reading all the comments on your thread and the length of time you’ve dealt with this pain is incredible. I am a letter carrier so I have no shortage of exercise especially with the Amazon contract! I’m no stranger to pain as I have si joint issues, compression fractures of the spine, osteoarthritis, lupus, fibro, etc, etc. I go to pain mgmt and am prescribed opiates for pain. They don’t touch this tfl pain. Pain mgmt gave me muscle relaxer which also does nothing. I am 63 and cannot retire. Stairs are especially deadly and everyone who orders online has stairs! Lol

      • Felicia October 31, 2016, 6:23 pm

        Ouch, Mary. I’m so sorry for your assorted ailments.

        I guess the good thing is you’re up and around and walking daily. As odd as this might sound, I truly believe the root of much of our chronic pain stems from our diets. Years and years of eating the the SAD diet (Standard American Diet) whether you’re in America or not leads to things like fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, si issues and on and on. Over the last 10 years I’ve made small but steady changes in my diet and many of my prior ailments have subsided. It’s not a quick fix, but maybe you should look into it. Folks like Dr. Mercola, Mark Sisson, Joe Cross, Andrew Saul, to name a few might offer advice. Search them out on Google.

        Good luck to you.

        BTW, gotta love those Amazon deliveries. 🙂

      • Robin Aufhammer October 31, 2016, 6:29 pm

        You sound like you have many issues!! I also have SI joint problems and TFL muscle strain. My pain Dr gave me an SI belt that I wear when I am active. He also said that if I keep having problems with that I would be a good candidate for Stem Cell therapy to restore my healthy SI joint tissue. Still contemplating that one as it is expensive!! For my TFL strain, I used a neoprene thigh wrap that worked amazingly well! I wore all the time for a few weeks, them at night for a few more weeks. It helped immensely so what ever else you are trying I highly recommend the wrap! It seemed to calm it down and helped heal it. It’s on Amazon and called Neo G groin support. Wear it next to your skin.

  • Sebastian November 19, 2015, 9:07 pm

    I injured this muscle playing soccer. Over the years of playing A few times I felt this muscle become tender when kicking the ball, but not much. This weekend I took a shot but sadly I hit the ground first.. I felt a crackle and pain. Had to leave the game. It hurts, I’ll rest it out and hope it recovers soon 🙁

    • Felicia November 20, 2015, 1:57 pm

      Ouch! I believe rest is the first line of defense for such injuries. I’m no expert, but anti-inflammatories may help also. Hope it heals soon.

  • Rachel August 17, 2015, 8:32 am

    Having had TFL problems myself and encountered it frequently as a massage therapist, i both loath and respect this muscle! Your info was awesome, thanks. Complete recovery is aided also by aggressive dry needling throughout hip muscles, cross fibre friction to the TFL, lots of ITB work, and regular ultrasound treatment using a home ultrasound wand. Dry needling is becoming more widely used here in Australia and it cam give amazing results. Cheers!

    • Felicia August 19, 2015, 10:28 am

      Never heard of dry needling. That’s something I’ll have to look into. Thanks for the info.

  • Zach June 17, 2015, 2:19 pm

    I think i have the same issue. I am normally a very active person, running long distances but took time off over the pasty year due to other injuries. I recently started running again and noticed that got a similar pain in my hip about a mile or so into my runs. When i finish running the acute pain is gone but if i make sudden movements it feels as if my hip gives out and I feel a shap pain.ive been trying to stretch it out for weeks now and it just doesnt seem to want to get better

  • Martin June 14, 2015, 2:43 pm

    I’m another 50 something getting back into running, after a long lay off (27 years). I stopped running as a boy, because of a knee injury playing football, and did other things like recreational cycling instead. It’s been going well, in four months got my Parkrun 5k down from 25 mins to 22:21.My most painful injury so far has been IT band, which has just stopped me running for two weeks, but I have cross trained every other day with the pain easing each day.

    Just today, in looking into IT band injuries, I ‘discovered’ the TFL and found this site, as well. Reading today it dawned on me how I have been experiencing pain at the front of my left hip, on and off since I restarted running, and that my quad stretch wasn’t getting to it. I kind of ignored it, because it seemed to go away as quickly as it came, it never seemed to stop me running, and I just thought of it as slight annoyance. BUT this pain was my TFL which I’d managed to leave unstretched in my stretching routine, which was semi injured and tight, and with hard runs got tighter and tighter, until it was pulling my IT band into my knee, progressively worsening until I had to stop running, and really address the problem.

    So far my research has revealed only one stretching exercise, which I knew had hit the spot immediately, as I felt the TFL protest immediately. It’s this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x30rjVT-TLo. Just the first exercise seems to hit the spot. Will do the others as this becomes more comfortable. I have also decided to add the yoga Pigeon Pose, which seems to hit the hips from the opposite direction, i.e. glutes and surrounding hip muscles, and that other little sometimes troublesome small muscle beneath the glutes, the pirirformis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_zPqA65Nok

    I am also starting a glute and hip strength routine with sandbag (as functional exercises also engage the core), which also seems to hit the spot, particularly my glutes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=65&v=Olc_uq5VtGU.

    These, will I hope get me running hard again, and help me achieve my aim of getting my 5k down to near to 21 mins, this year.

    • Martin June 18, 2015, 10:42 am

      Just another thought, this time on running form. I’ve found an article that revealed that the gluteus medius should be responsible for stabilising the hip, but that if it is weak or not used in running, then this imposes extra strain on the tensor fasciae latae, leading to IT band injury.

      The web page is titled “Your IT Band is Not the Enemy (But Maybe Your Foam Roller Is)”: http://breakingmuscle.com/mobility-recovery/your-it-band-is-not-the-enemy-but-maybe-your-foam-roller-is.
      I have started some glute strengthening, and so with some residual soreness in this region, which highlighted my use of this muscle (or muscles, as there are two, one for each leg), ran an easy run, with mild IT band pain. When I started to concentrate on using the gluteous medius (or ‘glute med’ as the article called it). I could feel the pain start to reduce.

      If you locate your left TFL with your left thumb, the glute med can be felt by the fingers on the back of the hip. If you lie on your side and put the upper leg behind the lower leg, then lift, you can feel the glute med contract. This is the muscle that you need to be using when you run.

      The article I linked to explains it all well. Incidentally I agree that rolling your IT band might be counter productive, as are many recommended IT band stretches (the IT band cannot be stretched, only the muscles that attach to it).

    • Tracie February 18, 2016, 8:58 pm

      I have been dealing with this for 5 years and have tried everything. Nothing works. I am tired of throwing money at it with little or no relief, it’s very frustrating. I have gone from cycling 80 miles a week to sitting on the couch. Good luck


  • Saurabh April 10, 2015, 2:02 am

    This is an extremely good article for this specific injury. I am a squash player and played competitive circuit during high school. Am now 35 and have started the game again a couple of years ago, leading to a gap of nearly 15 years. Since last one year I have been facing this pain while playing and the situation is slightly tricky. The pain happens on certain days and is excruciating at the time, severely hampering my movement and retrieving. It is sometimes so bad that I can barely walk. However, 10 minutes after the game, the pain is gone.. like it never existed. This may be due to the fact that I have a desk job and long hours of sitting makes the muscle weak. Have tried various stretches, ice packs, etc. but the pain keeps resurfacing.
    I would be really grateful if you have any suggestions.

    • Felicia April 10, 2015, 4:45 pm

      Saurabh, welcome to the blog. I’m not a medical professional, so I hesitate to give advice. The fact that the pain goes away 10 minutes after the game is puzzling.

      Maybe you should slow things down a bit. After all, it’s been 15 years since you’ve played. Maybe your trying to recapture the you of 15 years ago too quickly. Believe me, I know what that’s like. Like you said, you have a sedentary job and your muscles are not as strong as they once were. Maybe you should slowly rebuilding your muscle strength and continue stretching and icing. If it continues, you might want to seek professional help before you cause damage that will take longer to repair.

      Good luck and let us know how it goes.

  • Dixie Lee April 9, 2015, 9:13 am

    I started walking about 3 months ago. No problems. Then I was helping my mother in law do some spring cleaning and reached up and felt something pull in my thigh. Didn’t want to let on that I was in pain so I kept going. Not one for telling anyone that I have a pain. But the next day I could hardly move my leg. Went to the doctor and after some test I had a small tear in my TFL. Said with some physical therapy that in a month I could resume my daily 5 mile walks. ????

    • Felicia April 9, 2015, 4:11 pm

      Ouch! Sorry to hear about the tear in your TFL. Your doctor is better qualified to diagnose and prescribe a course of action than I can. I’m just hoping you allow it to heal before taxing it with physical therapy.
      Fortunately, walking is less taxing than running and you may be able to resume your walks in a month. Let us know how it progresses.

  • Tony March 30, 2015, 5:04 pm

    WOW – amazed at the number of people with this pain. Looking at a lot of the age groups it seems there could be a link to the meat sack getting older…???? I am mid 40’s and have recently developed this pain, it started on my right and the pain when I walked was speratic, not 100% on cause but it seemed to be the day after I did any hip flexor stretch. I initially felt the pain when i walked, and I seemed it was the hip socket not the tfl. I prodded where I thought it was and nothing, I started thinking it was osteoporosis etc… But then I thought I’m not that old, am I? I think it was the kids jumping on me that redirected my focus to the actual location of the pain, the tfl… Now I knew where it was hurting, it was time to treat it… Ok I had no idea how this happened apart from possibly a little hip flexor stretching – but this seemed unlikely. Went to physio for it & am still seeing him for both sides… This time it may well be caused by walking lunges and my anterior pelvic tilt. So, stretching, treatment and exercising is king, just not the wrong mix. Sound simplistic but its that simple, unfortunately that mix is different for everyone. Will keep you posted….

    • Felicia March 31, 2015, 9:03 am

      I’m not so sure its age related because we’ve got a few very young folks with the same issue. I found stretching and finding alternative exercises worked for me. Do keep us posted.

  • Lara February 8, 2015, 9:03 pm

    I have same pain in right hip because of skeletal imbalance. My right hip is slightly tilted down.
    Only started bothering me 2 years into jogging/biking/hiking Now I bike, jog maybe a mile, and bootcamps. Bummer because I enjoyed long summer runs. Now they are run/walks.

    • Felicia February 9, 2015, 7:06 am

      Maybe a chiropractor could help with your imbalance?

  • Diane moore December 30, 2014, 9:26 pm

    I hear you sister! I found my TFL when I had that odd hip pain and “couldn’t quite reach” the spot. Then I did! Whoa! Hit the spot and pain shot through me. I discovered that massaging that little devil and crossed leg stretches immediately reduce the pain. It hurts to massage it , and it’s a crazy position to reach it, but I’m so thankful I did! I massage it pretty hard and it’s a miracle worker. Sitting and reading in bed is the trigger for me. Good luck!

  • Jay C. Levine December 2, 2014, 2:59 pm

    I have had a similar problem in both legs since the age of 14. I saw orthopedic doctors and I was told as long as I could stand the pain I could continue in athletic activities. I was also given morphine for the pain, but decided I did not want to get addicted to pain medications so stopped taking them. I was very active in sports and often I would have to use traction afterwards to stretch the muscles which would allow me to walk normally again. Besides the pain, my legs would what I call lock or not allow normal movement. I continued to be very active in sports until I turned 30, but now I have curtailed my activities and suffer rarely from high pain. I am 66. I don’t know if you have similar pain, but it is the same area as yours. Good luck.

    • Felicia December 3, 2014, 9:36 am

      I’m amazed at how many of us have suffered from the same type of pain. Fortunately, mine hasn’t bothered me for a year or two. Wish I could say the same for sciatica.

  • Dave November 25, 2014, 11:00 am

    I am 56 years old and in great shape. I had a misdiagnosed injury (Gilmore’s groin) that kept me out of the gym from 26 – 51 years old. I noticed in my 40’s that my legs would feel “old” and simple occasional stretching would help immensely. After I started working out again I started pushing it and would lift weights and burn 400 cal. in 35 min. on the elliptical machine right afterwards. I had to take the better part of 3 months off recently and could not get going on the elliptical machine as my legs just plain hurt. I started to worry because stretching no longer cured the problem. I rolled on my foam roller for 20 seconds on both TFL’s this morning and the pain in my TFL’s, abductors and adductors vanished. Tight TFL’s causing a muscle imbalance. Thank you God!

    • Felicia November 25, 2014, 3:22 pm

      Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Steve August 6, 2014, 8:06 am

    Last week I experienced tightness in my TFL…first time for that. Then in a 24 hour period, while camping, I experienced a tearing of the TFL on four separate occasions. What it the best way to rehab this muscle and prevent the tightness in the future?

  • Collin February 6, 2014, 6:01 pm

    Re the TFL. I’m 60 and have pursued various treatments including A.R.T. active release therapy. Nothing has worked so far but I am now seeing a sports physiotherapist who tells me that the ball at the top of my leg is riding just a bit too high in the socket. So for treatment he has been softening the muscle with electrolysis electrodes and then instructs me to hold on to the treatment bed while he pulls my leg down and away with multiple jerks from the socket in my hip. He then gives me classic TFL stretch excersises and also instructs me to shake my leg down as if I have a clump of wet clay on my shoe sole and want it to flick off. Have only had two treatments and there does appear to be some improvement. My big question though, is, will the leg eventually continue to return to the high spot in the socket and invoke chronic TFL pain? I guess time will tell.

  • jacbec January 14, 2014, 4:49 pm

    I am 79 and for a couple of years had been going on long walks (up to 10-13 miles, average about 6 mi) several times a week. Last year I was less active and one day in Oct felt a pain in my left thigh area as I was walking that severely impeded my walking. I had been having lower back pain for several years and it felt like much of the pain descended to my left upper thigh whenever I walked (especially up hill) or climbed stairs. It is also uncomfortable lying on my left sideGoing down stairs was OK. Riding a stationary bike or walking on an Eliptical doesn’t seem to bother me. I can manage to walk a couple of miles with some pain and a noticeable limping gate.

    I saw an Orthopedist who had X-rays taken but didn’t show much except some mild arthritis in my left hip joint. I went to PT for a few weeks and learned about the TFL muscle. Massaging the TFL gives me temporary relief. I am also doing some stretching exercises and a step exercise on a 4″ step. I don’t seem to be getting any better, but maybe I am not giving it enough time. It has been 3 months now and I would like to get beyond short 2 mile limping walks and be able to run up and down the stairs.

    • Felicia January 15, 2014, 7:05 pm

      Jacbec, sorry to hear about your injury. If the problem is TFL, you’ll need to rest it quite a bit (at least from my experience). My original post was written about 4 years ago. Back then I actually gave up running and long walks and took up biking instead. Many months later when I tried running again, my TFL was fine and has not flared up since then.

  • Giles Hinchcliffe January 9, 2014, 9:50 am

    I would buy it – its marvellous. You will need a tennis ball for the self massage. Your ‘sciatic’ problems could be a tight piriformis muscle which the tennis ball will quickly release. Also look for trigger points in your gluteus medius and minimus. Good luck.

  • Giles Hinchcliffe January 4, 2014, 10:11 am

    I would be tempted to look for trigger points. I am a regular racquets player aged 66 abd have just picked up this problem. I like the cooked spaghetti description that Gail mentioned and TPs are like that. My bible is ‘The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook, by Clair Davies. It is a brilliantly written, easy to read book covering problems in all muscles. Thanks for the article Felicia.

    • Felicia January 9, 2014, 9:44 am

      Trigger Point Therapy sounds interesting. I’ll have to check it out and read a few of the reviews. Not so sure I’ll buy the book at this point, but it sounds like it is worth investigating.

  • Gail September 10, 2013, 10:21 pm

    I finally found complete relief after going to a physical therapist who specialized in ASTYM (pronounced a-stim) (see astym.com) He described normal muscle tissue like uncooked spaghetti – straight and lined up. Then he described the spots that hurt like cooked spaghetti, all jumbled and tangled and knotted. In ASTYM therapy, they gently realign and straighten the muscle tissue again. I had hurt for years and now I’m virturally pain free. However, only go to a physical therapist who is certified in ASTYM. I hope this will help all of you.

  • marius moldovan September 9, 2013, 11:53 pm

    hi!i am a soccer player and i have this problem for almost an year now!wat happened is that i took a shoot without streching out and i felt the horrible pain…and after that i got injured like 4 times again in every week….i have this horrible pain for an year now…i dont know wat to do…i cant play soccer or kick the ball!:(

  • Inge Van Bruystegem August 30, 2013, 9:04 am

    hello, I am a dancer who sometimes runs and i am constantly fighting on and of with the TFL.
    I seem to feel it is also linked with ‘holding your body in tension’ in other words ‘stress’.
    the running will not help it much i guess, but i am working on trying to run without excess lateral tension, and to keep it ‘straight’ ‘forward moving’ focusing on the hamstring and release in the front of the hips, and moving from the ‘belly’ as I run. I stretch a lot and try to find the really ‘icky’ places and find out by meditating on them what they mean and if i can, release them deeply, through breathing. I have also realized that i held on to the TFL tension in my sleep.
    I think the answer is all, definitely exercise, stretch AND massage, try to work all the muscles harmoniously not forgetting to stretch the more difficult ones. the ones, besides the usual after running stretches i find helpful for overall balance and ‘unstressing the leg’ are these :
    put on leg on the back of a bench or something, try to stand really tall straight and grounded.
    then rotate the hips towards the leg that’s up and move the trunk diagonally forward towards the leg (this helps to get the feel of the stretch, but afterwards you can find it just putting the leg up and executing the twist) You will find a deep stretch that stretches the whole outside line of of the leg on the bench, keep it for one minute, breathing into it. in fact you should keep all your stretches for one minute if you want any lasting effect!!
    2. put the knee on the ground or the bench and launch forwards the other leg, let the hips sink in so you can stretch the psoas and the front of the hips, you can pull on the foot behind you for extra thigh stretch
    3. sit and lay your knees on top of each other, your right foot ending up next to the left hip and the left by the right. most peoples knees will not touch (mine do…) sit up straight. this is the best relaxing stretching position for the TFL for me… STAY AT LEAST ONE MINUTE
    so but mainly work on yourself, on the general flow of your well being through your body, and try observe what unnecessary tension you walk or sit with, (i tend to tense the TFL while sitting and driving, you can undo it!!), meditate on it a little, putting the held tensions to better usage…

    • Felicia August 30, 2013, 9:19 am

      Inge, I agree with you. We tend to adapt muscle to tension as a result of unrealized stress. It seems that sciatica has replaced my TFL issues. I believe they’re both caused by the same problem.

      Recently my sister-in-law sent me a yoga DVD. It’s a beginners DVD that contains a 20 minute routine. The poses are gentle and held for a limited amount of time. It’s great for people like me who have never practiced yoga (aka stiff as a board).

      What I’ve found since using the routine diligently every day, my sciatica tension is getting better. I used to feel it the moment I bent over the sink to brush my teeth, but now I no longer feel the tension down my leg. I believe the gentle stretching and relaxing yoga moves are doing much to improve my condition. Since it’s only a 20 minute routine, I make sure to wake up 20 minutes earlier to get it into my day.

      Some of your recommended moves are similar to those found on the DVD.

  • Tony July 29, 2013, 11:04 pm

    I had this problem with overdeveloped Tensor fasciae on both hips. I stretched out the right in 1979- difficult stretch. Next day suffered nausea, collapse and extreme pain. Still working on reduction of left TF. The resulting tension on my left side caused several hospitalisations, Including disturbances in left ear pressure irregularities leading to severe vertigo. After stretching for 20 years, finally experiencing incredible mobility in left hip, I can walk up stairs and utilise left glutes in the process. The overdeveloped TF made me a really strong biker but a short stride somewhat heavy legged runner. I believe my propensity for this specific overdeveloped muscles was genetic. Good luck to anyone with this problem. Keep exercising it helps. Avoid surgery if possible.

    • Felicia July 30, 2013, 7:32 am

      Thanks for sharing your story. I’m sure it will help someone else with the very same symptoms.

  • Bill July 22, 2013, 1:39 pm

    I can’t believe it took me a couple years to find this post and find out what a Tensor Fasciae Latae is! I have been to my primary care doctor a couple times in the last 6 months and he said to just take some pain reliever. No other recommendations. I get this annoying pain on my left side mostly when sitting down (anywhere from driving to sitting at work all day). Its happening alot more often in the last couple weeks. I ran two half marathons in a 6 month period back in 2011 without much training. It all makes sense now when I saw this is a runner type injury. Im going to try doing the things in this article to help make my pain go away. What are the best things to do to make this go away sooner than later. thanks for all your input. hopefully everyone’s suggestions work for me.

    • Felicia July 23, 2013, 7:46 am

      Glad you found this post, Bill. It was written a few years ago, but the comments are pretty recent. I’m not sure which remedy (if any) will work for you. I haven’t suffered with TFL pain in quite some time so I’m not so sure I can give you accurate advice. Your best bet is to read through the comments.

      Good luck with resolving your TFL problem.

  • Laura May 15, 2013, 9:29 am

    I’m sure others have posted something similar to what I’m about to say but I just want to share that there is hope!
    I have been battling this issue for the past year and a half. The pain where the TFL and it band come together at the crest of my hip was so painful – walking up and down stairs even hurt!

    I went through all of the channels – orthopedic – PT etc. and in the end they all shrugged their shoulders when I wasn’t better. The Ortho’s advice was to administer injections. That is not the answer!

    So I recently threw my back out and my primary care sent me to a SPORTS Chiroprator. His insight is amazing and he has an amazing medical massage therapist on staff! They have given me hope! I have strengthening exercises for my gluteus and stretches for my IT band with rolling on foam roller. The massage therapist gets into my fibers to wake them up and try to promote blood flow throughout my it band – very painful but I’m really starting to see results! The pain is subsiding :-).

    The treatment will probably take 6 months to a year but I now have the tools to continue strengthening and stretching my ailments.

    The dr. Who I see is Dr. Lukosus in Naperville, Il. Check him out and see if you can find someone comparable to him in your area. On a side note, he recently spoke at a conference in Denver on this topic!

    So best of luck to all suffers! Know there are many others in your situation but it will get better 🙂

  • Daphne May 14, 2013, 2:19 am

    Hi all,

    I recently started running regularly after about 10 years off (not including sporadic elliptical workouts). The first couple of weeks went very well, but my thigh muscles were always quite sore since I was doing a lot of uphill running and I wasn’t taking days off. I figured I should stretch more and started doing some yoga exercises geared toward runners. As soon as I started this, I experienced the TFL pain you are describing in both hips (equal pain, started at the same time in both). I have also come very close to twisting my ankle multiple times since I started the yoga exercises (this is not uncommon for me, but it is happening much more often now).

    It does certainly seem as if the additional stretching caused the problem when combined with running. I feel as if the tenseness in those muscles held my hips/knees/ankles together (if that makes sense) – after stretching them, there is too much flexibility, allowing the joints to move out of place or move abnormally. Of course with running, the movement is repetitive so this would eventually aggravate the muscles surrounding that area. Between work and school, I have spent 8-12 hours per day in front of a computer for many years and definitely agree that the body will “rebel” when we make drastic changes to the way we move our bodies.

    This is new to me so I will experiment with different combinations of stretches, running, and rest to see what works. It could just be a reaction to something new that goes away with time. Just thought I’d throw my experience into the mix here and see if anyone has any tips for me. Oh, also, I am 26 so I don’t think age is a factor. I still have arches & use arch support, and as far as I know my legs are the same length, although my feet are slightly different sizes.

    • Daphne July 25, 2013, 3:15 pm

      So I took some time off, got some new (amazing) running shoes and switched up the yoga regime (much less focus on the legs, no longer doing yoga for runners). Problem has gone away completely. I think a lot of it had to do with the shoes.

      • Felicia July 27, 2013, 7:03 am

        I’m with you, Daphne, on the sneakers. Some time ago, I did a connect-the-dot conclusion about my TFL pain and my sneakers.

  • Jay C. Levine May 8, 2013, 10:32 am

    I found this article very interesting. I started to develop pain when I was 11 years old and I am now 65. I participated in many sports and my leg would lock which does not seem to be the same for the people who have written to you. I would go into traction to stretch the muscle until it relaxed enough and then the pain would eventually subside. When I was 18 I had an orthopedic specialist examine me for the military physical and I was given a physical exemption. A few years ago I decided to visit an orthopedic doctor and I was given a handicap license plate for life, so perhaps my condition is not quite the same as everyone else. I have found that rest has been the best solution to avoid pain. The stretching exercises make sense to me as long as they are done slowly and stopped at the first sign of pain. I was also told I could not cause any damage to my legs participating in sports as long as I could tolerate the pain. I was given morphine for the pain at age 11 and by the time I was 15 I refused to take pain pills. There does appear to be a direct correlation between athletic activity and the pain for everyone. Good luck to everyone who wrote.

  • Mindy April 28, 2013, 7:30 pm

    I ran a 5K today for the first time in years. It was ok til a few hours after. Everytime I tried to walk it hurt so bad I thought I was going to fall. I am in a wedding on Saturday and need to not be in pain. What can I do to make it better by then?

    • Felicia April 30, 2013, 10:00 am

      Mindy, I’m not a professional so take my advice with a grain of salt.

      If I were you, I’d rest, ice it and take over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs. It might provide short-term relief, but you really need to get to the root of the problem. I’d pay a visit to my chiropractor/physical therapist.

      Good luck at the wedding.