Massage Techniques to Help with Sartorius Pain

Sartorius, the longest muscle in the body, can sometimes cause you problems. The muscle arrangement of the sartorius muscle allows us to raise and turn our knee outward.

Movements that can cause problems with this muscle may be:

  • A sudden twisting of a planted foot
  • A twisting fall
  • Maintaining a contorted position
  • Holding the legs up while sitting or sleeping

Common sporting activities such as skating, hockey, swimming, and soccer, commonly use forceful adduction of the hip and this can be a set up for trigger points in this muscle.

Have you experienced a tingling or burning sensation anywhere along your inner thigh or groin? Sartorius originates at the hip bone (anterior superior iliac spine/ASIS), runs diagonally across the thigh to the inner side of the knee and attaches to the shin bone (tibia). Trigger points in this muscle may be the culprit. Many times it causes problems on the inner side of the knee making one think they are having knee problems when in actuality they are having issues with trigger points in the sartorius.

There are a couple of different approaches to addressing pain in this area: foam rolling and trigger point therapy.

Foam Rolling:

You can find foam rollers at most athletic stores if you wish to purchase one or at your local gym if you are a member.

foam roller, trigger point
                                  Foam Roller

Support your weight on your elbows and knees. Place the foam roller under your belly and in between your thighs with the edge of the roller in contact with your inner hip.

Using your elbows and straight leg, move your body slowly so that the foam roller moves along the inner thigh. It may be very tender, but with each pass of the foam roller, the tenderness should subside. Pressure can be increased if you feel you need more attention in specific areas.

Repeat on the other leg.

Trigger Point:

A trigger point will always refer pain or sensation to another location other than where you are pressing.

Sartorius,Trigger Point, Diagram
Sartorius Trigger Point Diagram via www.triggerpoints.net

Find the place of maximum tenderness.  This should be your trigger point.  When located, press down into the center of it and maintain the pressure for no less than one minute and no longer than two minutes or until you feel the tissue soften. Release the pressure gradually, and without moving your finger. Rest and then repeat this multiple times.

If you have pain in your sartorius, please try both foam rolling and trigger point therapy. If you are not plagued by this problem, you probably know someone who is.

Try this technique on yourself or on someone else and let us know your results via our blog.  Check their range of motion before and after to see what change you have created.

16 thoughts on “Massage Techniques to Help with Sartorius Pain”

  1. I’m a little jealous of all the beginners who have found this resource and are taking advantage of it. A very informative and interesting blog. Thanks so much for these wonderful sharing.

  2. My problems with the sartorius began after knee surgery to remove a large PVNS cyst. Working the pressure points is the only thing that has relieved the pain. Thank you!

  3. I get sartorius muscle cramps that are so painful that I literally cannot catch my next breath. The pain typically starts when I get up from my recliner. It starts at the middle trigger point and radiates both ways. I can feel the pain all the way from my inside knee to my kidney. It usually lasts between 5 and 10 minutes. Unlike other leg cramps, I cannot straighten or stretch the sartorious muscle because it weaves in different directions. Anyone out there have any solutions or ideas on how to avoid these cramps and how to shorten the severity. Thanks K

    1. I’ve found some relief with a foam roller and when i sleep at night, i use a body pillow between my legs (side sleeper here)

    2. I also experience these terrible cramps , not evert night, but when they do occur they are started when i get up from my recliner. Tried ice compress last night, still 5 – 10 minutes of unbearable pain. Have you found anything that relieves the pain?

    3. I get these if my electrolytes get low. Excruciating and debilitating! Try supplementing magnesium, potassium, and regular salt NaCl. I use the Himalayan pink salt now or celtic sea salt for the other trace minerals included. I take the Mg K and salt every night before bed. If I miss a couple of days, the cramp will wake me, can’t get to a position for relief, can’t get out of the bed, screaming No NO NO NO! and begging Jesus for help! I have eaten ketogenic for 4 years, and it causes you to throw off all the salts and water, so I have to really keep on top of hydration as well as electrolytes. Don’t get dehydrated!

  4. I have pain in this region and am a non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivor, had lymph gland on other side affected. Could a swollen lymph gland replicate this pain?
    Hoping it is not a relapse of my NHL.

  5. I also suffer with sartorius muscle cramps that are so immediately debilitating that I can’t catch my breath or move. I have found the trigger point therapy once the pain has abated very helpful although what to do when the cramp is actually there and I can’t move or speak and have trouble catching my breath? I have also tried using a roller which helps too. I have resorted to using the roller every evening before bed and using the trigger point therapy every day too. It’s worth it to try to stop another attack.
    I can honestly say the pain is the worst I have ever experienced (including having children!)

  6. I get these if my electrolytes get low. Excruciating and debilitating! Try supplementing magnesium, potassium, and regular salt NaCl. I use the Himalayan pink salt now or celtic sea salt for the other trace minerals included. I take the Mg K and salt every night before bed. If I miss a couple of days, the cramp will wake me, can’t get to a position for relief, can’t get out of the bed, screaming No NO NO NO! and begging Jesus for help! I have eaten ketogenic for 4 years, and it causes you to throw off all the salts and water, so I have to really keep on top of hydration as well as electrolytes. Don’t get dehydrated!

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