What pain and symptoms are associated with the vastus medialis?
- Pain on the inside of the knee extending half way up the front of the thigh
- Persistent pain in the knee joint
- Can cause the knee to ‘buckle’ (trick knee)
- People often sleep with a pillow between the knees to relieve the pain
Where is the vastus medialis muscle?
The vastus medialis muscle attaches to the thigh bone right below the hip joint and travels down to attach to the knee. The vastus medialis is one of four quadriceps muscles.
What movements do the vastus medialis muscles control?
- Straightens the leg at the knee
Interesting facts about the vastus medialis:
A trigger point in the vastus medialis can cause the knee to buckle unexpectedly. If this trigger point is not released and the muscle is stretched to try and relieve symptoms, knee pain and knee weakness will worsen.
Clinical diagnoses to which this muscle symptoms may contribute:
- Patella femoral dysfunction
- Chondromalacia patella
- Floating Patella
- Buckling knee (trick knee)
- Sprain/ Strain of the thigh or knee
- Phantom leg pain with above knee amputation
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament sprain or tear
- Posterior Cruciate Ligament sprain or tear
- Torn meniscus (cartilage)
- Iliotibial tract friction syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the vastus medialis muscle:
Satellite Trigger Points: Tensor Fasciae Latae, Iliopsoas, Peroneus Longus, Gluteus Medius, Adductor Longus Adductor Brevis, Rectus Femoris
Affected Organ System: Urinary and Reproductive System
For detailed anatomy information see: Vastus Medialis Anatomy
Help with Vastus Medialis Quadriceps Muscle Pain
Warm Therapy Gel for Quadriceps Muscle Pain
Sombra Warm Therapy Pain Relieving Gel is a pain relieving gel that I use both personally and in my massage therapy practice. Unlike other over the counter heating creams, it provides warmth without burning heat. Applying Sombra to the muscles on the front and inside of the thigh down to the knee can help reduce pain and tightness caused by the vastus medialis muscles. I recommend Sombra for chronic pain and chronically sore tight muscles.
Cold Therapy Gel For Vastus Medialis Quad Injury and Pain
Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel is an excellent pain relieving gel and I recommend it for those who have sudden onset muscle pain or recent injuries. It is better than warm therapy gels and creams for recent injury muscle pain as it cools the area much like ice and does not promote swelling. A recent study showed that Biofreeze decreased pain 2 times more than ice and the pain relief lasts 9 – 10 longer. If your pain is from a recently strained quad muscle I would recommend Biofreeze.
Cold And Warm Pack For Quadriceps Muscles
The Thigh or Quad Ice Wrap by Active Wrap can be used for warm or cold therapy. I like this pack because it can be adjusted and can be worn while you are up and moving. If you have chronically tight muscles in the thigh I suggest using this for heat. However, if the pain is caused from a recent injury I always recommend cold for 20 minutes several times a day. Remember if you are using cold therapy to only apply for 20 minutes per hour to avoid tissue damage.
Braces and Supports To Help Vastus Medialis Quadriceps Injury and Pain
McDavid Thigh Brace Wrap covers the thigh and can be used for quadriceps support or rehabilitation. This support works well for total thigh support as it covers most of the thigh. Provides great compression and warmth to help maintain muscle mobility and reduce pain.
Sizing: SM 18 to 20 inches, Med 20 to 22 inches, LG 22 to 25 inches, XL 25 to 28 inches.
McDavid Groin Wrap is recommended for high quadriceps and groin pulls. This strap also works well for people who have pulled a quad muscle up high near the groin and need additional support. The strap in addition to the knee brace gives support along the length of the muscle. The strap has an adjustable Velcro closure so you can adjust the pressure as needed.
Knee Brace For Quadriceps Pain
The quadriceps can contribute to stiff and painful knees. The Professional Choice Knee Support is one of the best knee braces I have used. It provides support to weak buckling knees and provides heat to help keep the muscle, ligaments, tendons and joint mobile. The two Velcro bands are adjustable and provide compression for the muscle to bone connection of the quadriceps muscles in the lower leg. Although it looks bulky, it is comfortable and was made for people who ride horses who bend and straighten their knees for extended periods of time. It does not bind or pinch. If you are prone to knee pain and buckling knees I highly recommend this brace. Purchase Information: Professional’s Choice Miracle Knee Support
Massage Tools for Self Treatment of the Vastus Medialis Muscles
I recommend the 18″ Tiger Tail Rolling Muscle Massager to use on both upper and lower leg muscles to help relieve tension and pain. I like the Tiger Tail for its ease of use. You do not have to contort into different positions or get on the floor or up against the wall to use this foam roller, simply roll it up or down the muscle. The 18″ is a good size to use on leg muscles as well as other muscles. The Tiger Tail is also recommended by physical therapists, athletic trainers and doctors for self treatment of muscles in between appointments. To use the Tiger Tail on the quadriceps muscles start just above the knee, and roll up the front of the thigh. Cover the entire front of the leg including just to the inside and outside of the thigh. Start with light strokes for a minute or two and build into more pressure and more time. Do not overdo as you can irritate the muscles!
Find and Treat The Source Of Your Vastus Medialis Knee Pain
Do you know that small knots in the vastus medialis muscle is a major contributor to knee pain and buckling knees? If you have unresolved knee pain I recommend that you purchase Claire Davies The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief. Mr. Davies explains the trigger point phenomenon and muscle pain in everyday language. But what makes this book worth its weight in gold are the individual muscle trigger point treatments that Davies has compiled. His diagrams and step by step instructions help you locate which muscles are contributing to your pain, how to find the trigger point and treat it. He also provides stretching and strengthening exercises for each muscle. It takes time and practice to master finding trigger points, but once you learn you have a tool and method to help relieve muscle pain throughout the body. If you have unresolved knee pain that runs up to the middle of the thigh it maybe trigger points in the vastus medialis muscle. Deactivating trigger points can reduce or eliminate this pain. This book is a must have for anyone interested in finding the cause and treating muscle pain.