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Your 5th Quad Muscle


Wait, what? That was also my reaction when I read those words! 

There I was, innocently reading my November/December Massage and Bodywork Magazine when I encountered this new information. Turns out, we have a quad muscle I wasn’t previously aware of!

Knowledge of this muscle has actually been around since about 2016, when it was named the tensor vastus intermedius (TVI). In a study of 26 cadavers, 22 were found to have this muscle. So maybe not everyone has one, but 22 out of 26 is a pretty big percentage. Chances are, you have a TVI in each leg. If you do, you’ll find it close to the hip and one of its “quad” neighbors, the tensor fasciae latae (pronounced like “latte” but without the caffeine.) It’s not very big, and most of it is up near the hip, with a long skinny attachment that joins the rest of the quad muscles down by your knee. 

The role of this little muscle seems to be all about control. Instead of helping its neighbors extend the knee joint, it’s more focused on pulling it back and offering stability. Knee stability is always helpful! 

So now when you have sore quads or knee pain, you have even more reasons to get a massage. No, I won’t be charging extra for massaging that extra muscle, but do we have to stop calling them quads now? Pentriceps? Vuads? 

*Info taken from Massage & Bodywork Magazine, November/December 2023, pg. 24. 

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