Pain across knee or low back? Release this muscle.
The rectus femoris (front of the thigh) is the longest muscle in the body. When it is tight it can affect the hip and the knee. Releasing this muscle is the first step to relief.
The rectus femoris is one of the four muscles that make up the front of the thigh. It is the only one of these muscles to run across both the knee joint and hip joint. Therefore, it can affect the lower back, the hip, and the knee. The muscle originates from the front of the hip and attaches to the top, front of the lower leg at the patellar tendon. The muscle extends the knee, flexes the hip joint, and increases the arch of the lower back.
Symptoms of tightness
Pain in the lower back
Pain across and around the patella
Causes of tightness
Sitting for prolong periods of time
Lie on your back on a firm surface - bench or coffee table or two chairs put together
Bring both knees to your chest until the low back is flat against the surface and hug yourself
Extend your right leg out straight until a stretch is felt in the right hip
Bend your right knee 90 degrees
The right knee should not raise up as the knee is bent
Repeat other leg
Static release - minimizes trigger points and adhesions and is the first step in improving this muscle.
Lie on the floor on your stomach
Place a tennis ball or lacrosse ball under the center of your right thigh
Find a tender spot that is a level 5 to 8 on a scale of 1 to 10 - 10 being excruciating
Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes or until there is pressure but no pain
If a release is felt before 2 minutes ends, find a new spot
Repeat on the left side
Repeat the tightness test to see if improvement has been made.
Check out our posture-improving devices here if you are having trouble with posture, especially in the upper body.