The Tensor Fascia Lata is the tiny muscle that attaches to a huge fascia-like tendon called the Illiotibial Band (sometimes called the Illiotibial Tract). This band of tissue runs from the illium (the hip bone) to the distal lateral tibia (lower, outer knee), and covers the entire outer portion of the thigh. Because it crosses both the hip and the knee, it is very capable of causing problems at both joints, although the pain is frequently (especially in runners) seen at the outer knee.
Although ITB Syndrome can somewhat mimic the leg pain seen in sciatica, never confuse the two.
As you can imagine, problems with the ITB and TFL are frequently related to other problems as well. I frequently see ITB issues in women (and men, but mostly women) who have a chronic PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME. This is because the TFL is in the vicinity of all sorts of muscles and tissues, including the hamstrings and quads. The beauty of treating a ITB / TFL Syndrome is that the model for treating all of the ELASTIC, COLLAGEN-BASED CONNECTIVE TISSUES is essentially the same. To understand this process, simply look at FASCIAL ADHESIONS and TENDINOSIS.
As you can imagine, improper foot mechanics could, as in all lower extremity problems, be the cause of ITB Syndrome. This would necessitate being fitted for orthotics or different shoes. Sometimes there are muscle imbalances that have to be dealt with as well.
For more information as well as several excellent pictures, take just a couple minutes to visit our other IT BAND PAGE.