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Pectineus Muscle: Groin and Pelvic Pain

Pectineus muscle

Pectineus muscle contributes to pain in the groin, pelvis, and upper thigh.

  • Pain in the fold where the leg joins the body
  • Groin pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pain increases when walking
  • Pain increases when trying to take long steps
  • Sleeping with a pillow between the knees eases the pain

Where is the pectineus muscle?

It connects to the pubis bone to the top of the thigh bone (femur).

What movements does the pectineus control?

  • Moves the thigh in toward the body
  • Twists the thigh toward the body
  • Moves the thigh forward

Activities that cause pectineus muscle pain and symptoms:

  • Sitting with legs up and crossed for long periods of time (recliners, sleeping)
  • Slipping or a misstep
  • Spreading legs too far apart vertically or horizontally
  • Power walking
  • Gymnastics
  • Splits
  • Horseback riding
  • Lifting with legs spread too far apart
  • Hip replacement surgery

Interesting facts about the pectineus muscle:

  • The pectineus is the highest muscle of the inner thigh
  • Pectineus is derived from the Latin word pecten meaning comb. The shape, size, and ridges in the muscle resemble the long tooth combs that women used to wear in their hair.
  • The pectineus is often injured when a person starts a regimen of power walking. During power walking, a person will often extend their stride, reaching farther than they would in a normal stride. Overextension while walking or running can stain the pectineus.
Pectneus Musle

You use the pectineus muscle when you twist your thigh inward and when you move your thigh forward.

Clinical diagnoses to which the pectineus muscle symptoms may contribute:

  • Hip joint disease
  • Pubic stress symphysitis
  • Sprain/Strain of the thigh
  • Groin pull
  • L1 L2 L3 or L4 radiculopathy

Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the pectineus muscles:

Satellite Trigger Points: Iliopsoas, Adductor Magnus, Adductor Brevis, Adductor Longus, Gracilis

Affected Organ Systems:  Urinary and Reproductive Systems

For anatomy information: Pectineus Anatomy: Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

Help with Pectineus Groin Pain

Cold Therapy Treatments for Pectineus Muscle Strains and Injury

Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel is an excellent pain relieving gel and I recommend it for those who have sudden onset muscle pain or recent injuries.  It is better to use than warm therapy gels and creams for muscle pain caused by inflammation as it cools the area much like ice. A recent study showed that Biofreeze decreased pain 2 times more than ice and the pain relief lasts 9 – 10 longer. If  your pain is from a recently strained pectineus or other groin muscle I would recommend Biofreeze. (Be VERY careful to not get Biofreeze on genitalia!)

Biofreeze is recommended for recent pectineus muscle strain and injury

The Pro Ice Quad Multipurpose Cold Therapy Wrap is adjustable and is a great choice for a multipurpose pack to use on your thighs, knees, hip, and back.  the wrap can be wrapped around the upper thigh for pectineus muscle treatment.  The pack can be put in the freezer and used for cold therapy on recently injured muscles to reduce pain and swelling. Solid quality construction that will last for a long time. Made in the USA

cold pack to relieve pain of pectineus stain injury

Warm Therapy Gel For Groin and High Thigh Pain

Sombra Warm Therapy Pain Relieving Gel is a pain relieving gel that I use both personally and professionally in my massage therapy practice. It works better than other over the counter heating creams, providing therapeutic warmth without burning heat.  Applying Sombra to the muscles on the front and inside of the thigh can help bring relief for chronic pectineus pain. (Be VERY careful to not get Sombra on genitalia!)  I recommend Sombra for chronic pain and injuries over a week old. If you have recently pulled or have sudden onset pain on the inside of the upper thigh, I recommend Biofreeze found above.

Sombra Warm Therapy Gel provides pectineus muscle pain relief.

Groin Strap for High Pectineus Muscle Pain and Injury

McDavid Groin Strap is recommended groin pulls. The neoprene construction radiates body heat back into the muscle to help alleviate pain and stiffness. The strap has an adjustable Velcro closure so you can adjust the pressure as needed.


Pectineus Muscle and Groin Brace and Support

The Bodyprox Groin Support can help provide compression and support to a pulled or strained pectineus muscle as well as other groin muscles. Adjustable Velcro closure can be adjusted for a snug fit. The wrap is made to fit high up on the thigh and around the hip with an abdomen band that will hold the wrap in place. The brace is pliable neoprene which makes it comfortable to wear. The neoprene radiates your body heat back into the muscles providing relief to sore achy muscles.

Bodyprox pectineus muscle and groin support

Compression Shorts for Upper Leg Muscle Compression Support

Compression wear is not just preventative wear for exercise. Compression wear can also aid in muscle injury support and reduce swelling during recovery time. If you are considering compression wear look for graduated compression. Graduated compression provides tight compression at the lower end of your limb and gradually decreases compressive force toward the top of the limb. This is important for circulation and inflammation reduction. Because the pectineus muscle is a high thigh muscle the shorter shorts will provide compression and support to the muscle. Compression shorts for men as well compression shorts for women come in all sizes, have a choice of colors and are available in various price points. The shorts can be worn alone or under pants.

Massage Tools for Self Treatment of the Pectineus Muscle

Tiger Tail Roller For Pectineus Pain

I recommend the The Tiger Tail 18" Roller to use on both upper and lower leg muscles to help relieve tension and pain. I like the Tiger Tail for its ease of use and because it does not strain the wrists and hands. You do not have to contort into different positions or get on the floor or up against the wall to use this foam roller, simply roll it up or down the muscle. The 18" is a good size to use on leg muscles as well as other muscles. This roller is also recommended by physical therapists, athletic trainers and doctors for self-treatment of muscles in between appointments. To use the Tiger Tail on the pectineus and other groin muscles start on the inside of the thigh, and roll down the thigh down past the knee. (Start off gently, this area can be very tender).  Start with light strokes for a minute or two and build into more pressure and more time. Do not overdo as you can irritate the muscles!


Self Treatment Massage Techniques For Pectineus Groin Injuries

Do you know that small knots and other dysfunction the pectineus muscle can contribute to groin and pelvic pain?

Groin and pelvic pain can be debilitating. If you have unresolved pain  I  recommend that you purchase Claire Davies  The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief. Mr. Davies explains the trigger point phenomenon and muscle pain in everyday language.  But what makes this book worth its weight in gold are the individual muscle trigger point treatments that Davies has compiled. His diagrams and step by step instructions help you locate which muscles are contributing to your pain,  how to find the trigger point and treat it. It takes time and practice to master finding trigger points, but once you learn you have a tool and method to help relieve muscle pain throughout the body.  If you have unresolved groin and pelvis pain you may want to learn about the trigger point in the pectineus muscle as well as other thigh and hip muscles to help you resolve your pain. This book is a must-have for anyone interested in finding the cause and treating muscle pain.

The Trigger Point Workbook can help you resolve pectineus muscle pain.

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