Rectus femoris tendonitis/tendinopathy

Rectus femoris tendonitis causes pain at the front of the hip, at the point where the large central quadriceps muscle attaches to the pelvis. It may occur through overuse, or follow a tendon strain which fails to heal properly.


Symptoms include a gradual onset of pain and tenderness at the front of the hip. There is unlikely to be a sudden sharp incident of pain although chronic tendonitis can develop following a rupture.

Pain may be reproduced when attempting a straight leg raise or trying to lift the knee up against resistance. Pain and stiffness may be worse first thing in the morning or after periods of rest.


The rectus femoris is the large quadriceps muscle running down the middle of the front of the thigh. Its function is to lift up the knee and straighten the leg. Pain will come on gradually and normally be located at the front of the hip.


Rest and apply cold therapy to reduce pain and inflammation. Maintain your fitness by cycling if this can be done pain-free.

A doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication e.g. ibuprofen to reduce pain and inflammation. A professional therapist will use ultrasound or laser treatment with sports massage to aid the healing process.

A full rehabilitation program is needed consisting of stretching and strengthening exercises to avoid re-injury.

This article has been written with reference to the bibliography.
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