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Sartorius Muscle: Hip, Upper Thigh and Knee Pain

Areas of pain to which the sartorius muscle may contribute.

The sartorius can cause a stinging burning pain in the front and inside of the thigh.

  • Burning stinging pain under the skin starting at the outside of the bottom of the  hip, traveling down the thigh to the inside of the knee (pain and/0r stinging can occur anywhere along the muscle)
  • Inside of knees may be painful or hypersensitive
  • Sleeping with a pillow between the knees often eases pain

Where is the sartorius muscle?

It attaches to the hip bone (iliac spine), travels down the front of the thigh moving to the inside of the thigh and connects to the inside of the shin bone (tibia).

What movements does the sartorius control?

  • Assists in raising leg at the thigh (bringing knee to chest)
  • Assists with twisting the knee away from the body
  • Assists moving the thigh away from the body
  • Assists with bending knee

Activities that cause sartorius muscle pain and symptoms:

  • Sitting with legs up and crossed for long periods of time (recliners, sleeping)
  • Slipping or a misstep
  • Sports that require planting one foot and making a sharp turn (basketball, football)
  • Walking with an extended long stride

Interesting facts about the sartorius muscle:

  • Known as the tailor's muscle. Tailors would sit with their legs crossed while they sewed and would have pain along the path of the sartorius muscle.
  • The sartorius is the longest muscle in the body.
Sartorius Muscle

The sartorius muscle is found in the upper leg. You use your sartorius muscle when you lift your knee, twist your knee and bend your knee.

Clinical diagnoses to which the sartorius muscle symptoms may contribute:

  • Floating Patella
  • Meniscus tear
  • Muscle tear of the anterior thigh
  • Anterior cruciate ligament tear
  • Posterior cruciate ligament tear
  • Sprain / Strain of the thigh or knee
  • Rot-Bernhardt syndrome
  • L2 L3 or L4 radiculopathy

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

Satellite Trigger Points: Rectus femoris, Vastus medialis, Adductor magnus, Adductor longus,  Adductor brevis

Associated Organ Systems: Genitourinary Systems

For detailed anatomy information see:  Sartorius Muscle Anatomy

Help with Sartorius Muscle Upper Thigh Pain

Cold Therapy Gel For Sartorius Injury and Pain

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 or sprained sartorius muscle I would recommend Biofreeze. Apply Biofreeze from top of the hip bone, following area of pain and burning down to the inside of the knee.

Biofreeze is recommended for sudden onset sartorius muscle injury

Cold Pack For Sartorius Muscle

The Pro Ice Quad Multipurpose Cold Therapy Wrap is a good choice to provide cold therapy to sartorius injuries. The wrap not only provides a consistent temperature but also provides compression which is important for reducing swelling and aiding in faster recovery.

cold pack for sartorius injury

Warm Therapy Gel for Sartorius Muscle Pain

Sombra Warm Therapy Pain Relieving Gel is a pain relieving gel that I use both personally and in my massage therapy practice. It provides warmth without burning heat and is great for relieving pain. Applying Sombra to the muscles on the front and inside of the thigh, down to the knee can help reduce pain and tightness caused by the sartorius muscle. I recommend Sombra for chronic pain and chronically sore tight muscles.

Sombra Warm Therapy Gel provides sartorius muscle pain relief.

Hot and Cold Multipurpose Wrap For Thigh and Knee Pain

The Hot Thermal and Ice Cold Compress Therapy Gel Pack Wrap is adjustable and is a great choice for a multipurpose pack to use on your thighs, knees, hip, and back. The pack can be put in the freezer and used for cold therapy on recently injured muscles to reduce pain and swelling. The pack can also be put in the microwave for warm therapy for chronic pain and stiffness. Solid quality construction that will last for a long time. Made in the USA

Cold Hot Pack for sartorius muscle treatment

Thigh Brace For Upper Leg Pain

McDavid Thigh Brace Wrap covers the thigh and can be used for sartorius support or rehabilitation. This support works well if your pain is more in the upper thigh area and does not go down into the knee. Provides great compression and warmth to help maintain muscle mobility and reduce pain. Sizing: SM 18 to 20 inches, Med 20 to 22 inches, LG 22 to 25 inches, XL 25 to 28 inches.

Mcdavid Thigh Brace for sartorius muscle support

Groin Wrap for High Sartorius Pain and Injury

McDavid Groin Strap is recommended for high sartorius and groin pulls. This strap works well for people who have pulled a muscle up high near the buttocks. The strap in addition to the knee brace gives support along the length of the many of the thigh muscles. The strap has an adjustable Velcro closure so you can adjust the pressure as needed.

McDavid Groin Strap for high thigh treatment

Compression Leggings for Upper Leg Muscle 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. To support the sartorius muscle it is important that you use leggings that go down past the knee so you treat the full length of the muscle. Compression leggings for men as well compression leggings for women come in all sizes, have a choice of colors and are available in various price points. The leggings can be worn alone or under pants.

Tiger Tail Foam Roller For Sartorius Pain

I recommend 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 sartorius muscle start at the top of the outside of the thigh, and roll down the front of the thigh around to the inside of the thigh stopping below the knee, following the path of the muscle. Start with light strokes for a minute or two and gradually build into more pressure and more time. Do not overdo as you can irritate the muscles!

: tiger-tail-18

Self Treatment Massage Technique For Sartorius Pain

Do you know that small knots and other dysfunction in the sartorius muscle can cause constant burning pain from the hip to the inside of the knee?

This constant pain can be annoying and if it lasts over time it can affect your life. If you have this 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 this unresolved burning pain in your hip, thigh and knee you may want to learn about the trigger point in the sartorius muscle 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 muscle pain throughout your body.

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