Three of the four quadriceps muscles take their origin from the upper half of the shaft of the femur including the vastus lateralis. The Vastus lateralis lies beneath the iliotibial band which can mask some of its trigger points which tend to lie down the side of the muscle. The anterior trigger point pain map for Vastus Lateralis is a triangular patch just below the greater trochanter, however, it has quite an extensive trigger point pain map referral; here we can see the pain maps for trigger points in the posterior part of the vastus lateralis.
Trigger points in the Vastus lateralis muscle are associated with patellar tracking issues such as in chondromalacia patellae. Treating trigger points in the Vastus lateralis can have a significant impact on knee function. We would like to share a little-known trick for finding the Ultimate vastus lateralis trigger points. With the patient supine, use flat handed palpation or fingertip palpation to roll over the upper aspect of the iliotibial band (ITB) in the middle of the thigh. As you roll up, dig your fingers inside the lateral thigh fascia to a depth of about 1cm. With practice you should be able to feel a long doughy taught band. IMS techniques to this band give perhaps the biggest twitch response in the body, the twitch can be seen all the way to the knee.
How do you treat trigger these trigger points? We’d be delighted if you want to share your own best practice.