My mother is an extraordinary woman. Her first of two full time jobs is running a farm that is the home to over a hundred rescued animals and provides therapeutic riding for children and adults with a variety of disabilities. Her second job is editing an online newspaper for the town she lives in. She spends half her day running around a farm doing all the things that entails lifting, pushing, shoveling, brushing, petting, and caring, a quarter of her day is spent running around town snapping pictures and chasing down interviews, and the last quarter she spends sitting at a computer, writing and uploading. To many she is a superwoman, and although she is, she has physical aches and pains.
One of her biggest complaints (which she never complains about) is that when she moves her right leg into extension she experiences extreme cramping all the way down her right leg. For years she thought this was a permanent side effect of a back surgery she had in 2003, and that she would just have to live with it. I, on the other hand, as a massage therapy student and a Yoga Tune Up® teacher was very curious about this symptom. And one day, while I was doing the Marching Mini Vini, it hit me, “HIP FLEXORS!” Somehow I convinced my mother to take some time out of her day to get on my massage table, and as soon as I applied a little pressure to the hip flexors on that right side she felt the cramping. BINGO! Her pain is not irreversible nerve damage; it is due to extremely tight hip flexor muscles. The Tensor Fasciae Latae is one of those hip flexor muscles that is adding to her discomfort, and the amazing thing is, it is something she can work on. By stretching and lengthening her hip flexors, including her TFL, she can get rid of her pain.