Muscle Knots in Side of Leg/ IT Band

Pain on the side of the leg can be caused by a number of different muscles that are located around the hip joint. A common complaint is referred to as IT Band Syndrome. The IT Band is a band of thick connective tissue. Muscle knots on the outside quad muscle can mimic IT Band pain on the outside of the leg.

Muscle knots in the side of the leg, which consist of tight and contracted muscles, are indicated below by a black dot. The red area in the illustrations indicates “referred pain” – meaning, the pain you feel is often not in the location of your trigger point until you press on it. As an example, you may have pain along the side of your leg, but the trigger point may actually be in the hip.  For a comprehensive look at more than 260 different pain map illustrations throughout the body, you may want to purchase the Tiger Tail Self-Help Guide to HAPPY MUSCLES.

Pain from trigger points in the Tensor Fasciae Latae, a muscle of the thigh, can be felt in the hip or down the side of the leg.

Common Conditions Relating to Side of Leg Pain:

  • Pain or discomfort down the side or back of the leg
  • Pain on the side of the hips
  • Sciatica-like symptoms
  • Greater Trochanteric Bursitis
  • IT Band Syndrome
  • Pain with prolonged sitting
  • Stuck knee cap

Knots in the Vastus Lateralis muscle can often mimic IT Band Syndrome.


  • Locate the muscle knot by applying pressure to the area causing pain. A muscle knot can be actively painful, or you might not even know it exists until you put pressure on it.
  • Rub the muscle knot to allow blood and oxygen to circulate freely to that muscle area.
  • Find the right pressure. When you press on a muscle knot with just the “right amount of pressure”, it can make you laugh and cry at the same time because it can “hurt so good”. Pressing too hard, however, it can make you cry for mercy!
  • If you gently rub the muscle knot you may feel tenderness in both the muscle and the muscle knot. Sometimes, the referred pain symptoms are able to be reproduced when pressure is applied to the muscle knot.