The TFL, or tensor fascia latae, is a complex muscle which is intricately arrangement anatomically with the ITB, or iliotibial band, and it performs various essential functions, such as allowing hip mobility as well as transmitting fascial tension through the fascia latae located in the thigh and the iliotibial band. The TFL also provides postural support during one-legged stance and limits the tensile stress on the femur caused by the combination of bodyweight, ground reaction force and how these create individual bending forces against the femur.
When one discusses the anatomy of the TFL, the anatomy of the ITB should also be discussed as these serve a conjoined role in order to function. A study conducted to compare the TFL and ITB in humans to other primates and mammals determined that human beings are the only mammals to have a defined ITB. The study also further regarded the anatomy and function of both the tensor fascia latae and the iliotibial band. Additional studies via cadaveric and biomechanical modelling research added a substantial amount of knowledge about this often misunderstood muscle, the TFL, and its relationship to the ITB.
The general agreement is that the tensor fascia latae begins on the iliac crest which starts just lateral to the origin of the sartorious, or ASIS, and extends posteriorly along the iliac crest to combine several types of tissue into the iliac crest and onto the gluteal fascia. It’s been highlighted that the muscle provides multiple functions and contains anatomically distinct heads: the anteromedial, or AM, and the posterolateral, or PM, head.
The tensor fascia latae, or TFL, is a well-known hip muscle among healthcare professionals and rehabilitation specialists. Because of its essential function, this muscle may be responsible for pain and dysfunction in the lower extremities, pelvis and spine. Research studies conclude that this muscle is greatly misunderstood, but with further examination, injury can be prevented. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 850-0900.