Chiropractor Chandler AZ

Carson Robertson
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Vastus Medialis Trigger Point

The vastus medialis muscle is one of the four quadriceps muscles. It originates on the medial side of the femur and inserts on the patellar tendon. The vastus medialis muscle is commonly injured with explosive activities and sports that involve jumping, quickly changing directions, acceleration, and deceleration. Runners develop pain, weakness, strains, and trigger points in the vastus medialis with downhill running, which provides an eccentric muscle load to the quadriceps.

Many people with weakness or dysfunction of the vastus medialis develop patella tendon injuries. Chondromalacia patella or patellofemoral syndrome are conditions that develop when the vastus medialis does not fire quickly or with the same amount of force as the vastus lateralis. The net effect is the patella is pulled towards the outside and rubs on the patella surface of the femur cartilage surface. Both the patella and femur are covered with hyaline cartilage, and excessive forces will cause damage to one of the joint surfaces.

Vastus medialis trigger points and muscle dysfunction is often associated with many injuries that develop from weakness in hip and knee stabilization. The inability of the vastus medialis to contract correctly leads to many stabilization injuries. Many runners will develop IT band tendonitis that is associated with vastus medialis dysfunction. Additional strength exercises can be found on the hip, knee, and foot strengthening pages. More information for injuries and treatments for knee pain and foot pain.

As with any trigger point injury the key for diagnosis is identifying the radiating pain and reproducing it with palpation.

vastus medialis trigger point
Conservative Treatments

Therapeutic treatments for addressing soft tissue injuries involve massage therapy, manual therapy, trigger point therapy, Graston Technique, or Active Release Technique. These treatments increase blood flow, decrease muscle spasms, enhance flexibility, speed healing, and promote proper tissue repair.

When these treatments are incorporated into a treatment plan patients heal faster and are less likely to have long-term pain or soft tissue fibrosis or scar tissue in the injured muscle. These soft tissue treatments are incorporated with therapeutic exercise and flexibility programs.

Medical Treatments

NSAIDs are often prescribed for the initial acute injury stages. In severe cases that involve multiple joint regions, muscle relaxers or oral steroids can be given. Trigger point injections, botox, or steroid injections can be treatment options. Pain management is not usually required unless stronger medications or joint injections are required for treatment.

MRI and X-rays will not usually be ordered to evaluate mild to moderate muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries. Severe cases may utilize advanced imaging to rule out bone fractures, edema, nerve entrapments, tendon or muscle ruptures. NCV testing may be utilized in cases that also involve muscle, sensory, or reflex loss.

Sciatica is the term for radiating pain down the leg. Most commonly it comes from the back and radiates down the leg. Several back injuries and nerve entrapment injuries can cause sciatic pain in the leg. The pain patterns from a lumbar disc, lumbar joint sprain, sacroiliac sprain, or piriformis syndrome produces different patterns of radiating pain than trigger points. Proper identification of the pain pattern, along with reproduction of pain from palpation of the trigger point allows the provider and patient to feel comfortable with the diagnosis.

Your chiropractor, physical therapist, occupational therapist, or physician will evaluate your condition and make a proper diagnosis and treatment recommendations. Ask them any questions you might have about your injury.

In Conclusion

The lower extremity works as a comprehensive unit performing many of the repetitive tasks at home, work, and recreational sports. Injuries to one area of the musculature often indicate that additional damage has been incurred by other muscles.

Many therapeutic exercises can help restore proper strength and endurance to the leg muscles muscles. Isometric exercises are often the initial treatment exercises. Followed by single plane rubber band exercises for hip, knee, and ankle; flexion, extension, adduction, abduction, circumduction, inversion, and eversion. Dynamic exercises involving stability foam, rubber discs, exercise ball, and BOSU balls can be performed on the floor. The more unstable of the surface the more effort and stabilization is required of all the lower extremity muscles.

Vibration plates enhance neuromuscular learning throughout the ankle, knee, foot, hip, and back muscles. Additional strength exercises can be found on the hip, knee, and foot strengthening pages.

Our Chandler Chiropractic & Physical Therapy clinic treats patients with a variety of muscle, tendon, joint, and ligament injuries. The clinic provides treatment for runners, tri-athletes, and weekend warriors in addition to common headache, neck, and back patients traditionally seen in Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, Massage Therapy clinics. We work with all ages and abilities of the residents in Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, and Chandler AZ.