The Notorious Sartorius

By Sharon Truelove

Have you experienced a tingling or burning sensation anywhere along  the inner thigh or groin?  The longest muscle in the body, Sartorius, may be the cause.  It is also known as “the tailor’s muscle” because tailors used to set cross-legged to do their work in the old days.  The muscle arrangement of Sartorius allows us to raise and turn the 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.

 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.


A couple of different approaches to addressing pain in this area are, 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.

Support you 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.

 Find the place of maximum tenderness.  This should be your trigger point.  When you located it, press down into the center of it and maintain the pressure for no less than one minute and no longer than 2 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 trigger points in Sartorius, please try both foam rolling and trigger point therapy. If you are not plagued by this problem, it shouldn’t be hard to find someone who is.

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

32 thoughts on “The Notorious Sartorius”

  1. Well with no massage on a regular schedule after class, this has been my saving tool, foam roller, and yes I went back to being very tender in this area, and the ROM was not as good as it should have been, but after the technique, I am back on track, ROM was much better, so glad this was something you taught us while still in class. Still very effective.

  2. The week we tried this on a Thursday during yoga time, it was ok. I have problems with my inner thighs so when I did it I couldn’t stay on the trigger points on my thighs very long.

  3. I found the trigger point in my satorius. I do have knee problems in both knees. My ROM before finding and treating the trigger point in my right knee was painful during flexion and extension. After finding my trigger point and treating it following the instructions from above, the pain in my right knee during flexion and extension was less intense.

  4. I kinda like foam rolling. It’s a hurt so good type of pain. I didn’t have any trigger points in my sartorius. But I did really notice a change in my ROM after we did this. I want to get a foam roller and do this at home more often, because I felt better after wards!

  5. Foam rolling is my enemy….but as much as I hate to say it…it relly does help!!! So naturelly I tried the trigger point. Yes it does help, but It doesnt allow you to get in as deep as the foam rolling does.

  6. I tried them all and the foam roller worked best. It is an awkward movement, and I’m sure even worse to watch being done, but it seemed to help the most.

  7. I like using the foam roller. After doing this it helped with the pain. I was please by the results i got form using it.

  8. Ahhhhh….FOAM ROLLERS!!! Not for me, but good for my clients! I can bear through all of the techniques except when you use the foam rollers on the lower back. No real trouble with my sartorious, because I practice lots of stretching.

  9. My boy friend skates and is constantly injuring himself. His leg muscles take most of the impact and he’s always complaining about soreness. I tried the trigger point technique on him because I don’t have a foam roller or access to one. He said he could really feel the difference in tightness and his ROM improved greatly.

  10. Ok so this has got to be a great thing. I know so many atheletes who either play basketball or football and just to throw this at them makes my day and my thumbs. :0) I am very excited about trying this on one of my friends and see how well they play out in their sport. Thank you.

  11. I love foam rollers! I will try the foam roller one when I can use it in private with no one watching me because that one looks kind of funny.

  12. Hmm very interesting, I never experienced problems in my sartorius, but this technique is very easy and simple to rememeber.

  13. I have not experienced any pain with my sartorious at this time. How ever I’m sure,I will at some time.The foam roller looks like a wonderful tool. I will introduce this technique to my clients.

  14. I kinda like foam rolling. It’s a good type of pain. I did on my right leg have a trigger point in my sartorius, and I did notice a change in my ROM after we used the foam roller. I want to get a foam roller and do this at home more often, because I did feel better after. Plus I do stretches at home, it is good to add to my routine.

  15. I love using the foam rollers and I love to do stretching in general. The foam roller would be a really good stretching tool to suggest to clients. There are so many different stretches you can do with a foam roller too.

  16. I am not a big fan of the foam rollers but it does help out a lot.I don’t really have any problems with my sartorious but I would definitely recommend this technique to anyone who needs help in this area.

  17. Well, I was on a swim team a few years back, and I always wondered why I had excruciating pain there. If only I knew back then what to do to fix it, as I do now, then I probably would have saved myself in any situations. well, I have done this before, and I will say, I do not like those foam rollers. BUT… it was well worth it. It was a hurt so good for me. When I used the foam roller, it hurt pretty bad, but when I had finished, it was amazing the results I got. I actually went out and bought a foam roller for my home, and family, and showed them how to use it on certain areas of their body, and they were happy with the results as well.

  18. I really like the HURT SO GOOD feeling the foam rollers give me. I think they work great wonders for pains and issues that you may have going on. I will be suggesting the foam rollers to my clients :))

  19. I dont have foam rollers or problems with my sartorius. but Im sure I will get a foam roller soon and I know I will run into clients that have problems with their sartorius if I don’t already know some people. I will recommend this to them and get feedback if it worked or not. Thanks for the tip and Im sure one day I will be doing this myself lol

  20. Never tried foam rolling but it sounds like it would work. I had my mom do the trigger point on her sartorius since mine never bothers me. I massaged her leg after she was done. She felt much relief, thanks!

  21. I didn’t have any trigger points in my sartorius. But my abductor muscles hurt like crazy when I did the foam roller. But I can see how it can help out a great deal.

  22. I think the foam roller is a great idea. It’s simple and cheap but yet can help so much! I will definitely be investing in a foam roller because I think it could help out a lot with my hip problems! Thanks for the helpful tips! 🙂

  23. I think the foam roller is a great idea! It’s not only easy but also cheap. I’ve never tried a a foam roller but with my hip problems i will defiinately be looking into purchasing one! Thank you for the helpful and easy tips! 🙂


  25. Man was this a workout that time doing all these different techniques on that hard roller….BUT it was awesome to get some the places you can’t get on yourself.

  26. I have been experiencing some tightness in this area. Its probably because Ive been walking so much lately. This was great! and it felt so much better after I did the Trigger Point. I dont have a foam roller and besides I don’t care for it lol. Foam rolling hurts too much for me to care about the benefits. But trigger point was a lot less painful and equally as helpful.

  27. This muscle does so much and we rarely palpate in class due to its location. I will try the foam roller technique. I have major knew problems in both legs so maybe this will help.
    thank you

  28. I think a foam roller is going on my Santa list! I want one so bad to use on myself and future clients. I think they would also be good to be able to sell and send as homework for your clients. OUCH! Hurts so good. Love it!

  29. I did try the trigger points and it did seem to help me out at work and at night.. I will keep doing this, thanks for sharing 🙂

  30. oh the love hate relationship we have with foam rolling! i sleep with my legs up at night and the sartorious is very tender, due to the fact that i am constantly on my feet, with massage and as well as a cosmetologist, the trigger point helps, but i def. need to invest in my enemy the foam roller and make myself do the exercises once a week and just get over it so i feel relief. mission 38 on my list !