These people complain of tingling and numbness on the outside of their upper thigh. They often poke at it like it will shake it loose or that they can wake it up, like the way one might shake or move your arms when they are “falling asleep.” This tends to be a broad area that extends up and down the front of the quad under the corner of the hip.
This comes from entrapment of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve by the tensor fascia lata muscle. It is also referred to as Meralgia Paresthesis.
This muscle can create the tingling sensation as it tightens to stabilize the hip while standing or walking. People also complain of the tingling if they sleep face down so that the hip and leg are stretched out.
These people sometimes have a strip of pain down the side of their leg or a spot of pain on the outside of their knee when walking or running. These are other problems created by the trigger point laden TFL.
It is often caused by flexing the hip for long periods, especially in tight clothing. This might occur from sitting in tight jeans while leaning forward to work at a table. It can also start from a fall or motor vehicle accident that jars the hip.
There are several patterns that are similar but can be distinguished from this pattern. Degenerative discs produce spiral patterns that feel like electric shocks or a painful nail driving into the area. you can read more about the disc patterns in this post. There are other patterns that refer to the upper portion of the front of the thigh.
This site is undergoing changes. Starting in early 2020, we began changing the format of the posts to include more extensive self-care, illustrations, therapist notes, anatomy, and protocols. We’d love your feedback. We are adding posts and converting the old posts as quickly as time permits.
Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points, and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.
*This site is undergoing major changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make it easier to read, more accessible, and
to include more patterns with better self-care. In the meanwhile, there will be inconsistency in formatting, content, and readability until we get the old posts updated. Please excuse our mess.