What Does Rectus Femoris Mean?
- Rectus means straight
- Femoris refers to the femur
- Rectus femoris is one of four muscles that make up the quadriceps group.
- The four heads of the quadriceps group are the vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius, and rectus femoris.
Where Does the Rectus Femoris Attach?
- This muscle attaches above (proximally) on the AIIS (Anterior Inferior Iliac Spine) of the pelvis. This is the small bump BELOW the bump that we call our “hip point.”
- This muscle attaches below (distally) to the bump on the front of the tibia (tibial tuberosity) through its attachment on the knee cap (patella).
What Are the Actions of the Rectus Femoris?
- It assists in flexion (folding forward) of the hip joint.
- It assists in extension (straightening) of the knee joint.
- Rectus femoris can also pull the front of the pelvis down and forward (anterior tilt).
- It can pull the pelvis down in the front and create compression in the lower back, especially in a backbend.
Postures Where the Rectus Femoris Muscle Contracts
Postures Where the Rectus Femoris Muscle is Lengthened
Rectus Femoris Injury
Rectus femoris strain/tear
- It is commonly caused by forceful movement when the muscle is in a contracted position.
- Strains can occur when kicking a ball and the knee is in some way restricted.
- Strains are common in soccer players and also occur in football and other sports where kicking or sudden jumping is required.
- Pain towards the top, front of the thigh
- Swelling and bruising
- Restricted range of motion depending on the extent of the tear
Rehabilitation of minor tears follows the RICE method, then gentle movement and stretching once swelling has been reduced. Serious tears (those verging on a complete tear) require surgery to repair. There have also been updates to the protocol and relevance of use.
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