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Pain Along Side of Thigh, Sometimes to Front of Ankle

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How People Describe This Pain Pattern

These people complain of Pain along the side of the thigh, often down to the knee. I’ll ask if it extends down to the ankle and they usually say that it does. When I ask if it refers to the behind the ankle or in front, they say that it goes in front of the ankle, often to the big toe.

If they say that the pain extends behind the ankle, it is more likely to be this pattern.

This trigger point is in the tensor fascia lata, which may also create tingling in their thigh or pain on the side of their knee.

They may have been misdiagnosed with trochanteric bursitis, sciatica or degenerative discs.

This trigger point is often activated with sport activity or prolonged sitting.

How You Activate and Intensify This Pain Pattern

Skiing, cycling, jumping, running on the beach, and other activities that involve slight flexion with side to side movement can activate this trigger point.

Also, sitting for long periods while leaning forward or with legs crossed can stiffen this muscle when it has latent trigger points. This can also lead to stiffness on rising when the person has been seated at a counter or table with their legs spread because of inadequate legroom. This tightness can make it difficult to keep the knees together while sitting. The person usually has other reasons for their habitual “manspreading.”

Sleeping in a fetal position or with the legs awkwardly flexed can also increase trigger point activity in this muscle.

The Musculoskeletal Anatomy Behind Your Pain

Musculoskeletal Anatomy

About these Illustrations…

This post on anatomy contains standard information about the origin, insertion, function, and innervation of muscles. It also includes information on functional considerations and anomalies.

Find Related Posts

Anatomy posts have a grid of all related posts. This includes posts on pain patterns, self-care, therapy notes, NMT protocols, cranial techniques, and cases.

Getting Relief on Your Own

Clinically Proven
Self-Care Strategies

Self-Care Posts have common sections to make them easy to follow and understand:

  • Activities to Avoid or Change
  • Strategies for Quick Relief
  • Stretches and Exercise for Longer-Lasting Relief
  • Yoga Corner

Therapy Notes for Massage and Bodywork

Better Bodywork
Through Shared Expertise

This post has techniques, tips, treatment routines, and anatomy illustrations to improve the bodyworker’s approach.

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Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where he sees clients. He has written materials and instructed classes since the mid-90s. This includes anatomy, trigger points, cranial, and neuromuscular.

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*This site is undergoing significant changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make them easier to read. The result will also be more accessible and include more patterns with better self-care. Meanwhile, there may be formatting, content presentation, and readability inconsistencies. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.