Sartorius Muscle Pain

Photo of author
Written By Dr. Andrew Park

MD, PhD. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physician from São Paulo - Brazil. Pain Fellowship in University of São Paulo.


The sartorius muscle is the longest in the body, encompassing both the hip and knee joints. The term sartorius is derived from the Latin word sartor, which translates as patcher or tailor, referring to how the individual will place their leg when working.

Sartorius muscle pain is a group of lower-limb mononeuropathies distinguished by their clinical appearance and anatomical localization around the knee. In its most classic form, sartorius muscle pain is limited to the long portion of this muscle. Still, it’s not uncommon for patients to experience pain in other areas, such as the short part of the muscle, gracilis tendon, or medial malleolus.

Muscular Anatomy

Sartorius is the longest muscle in the anterior compartment of the thigh.


The sartorius muscle originates from the anterior superior iliac spine, as does the tensor fascia lata.


The sartorius muscle inserts on the superior medial side of the tibial shaft near the tibial tubercle. The gracilis and semitendinosus tendons join together at its insertion to form the conjoined tendons known as the pes anserinus.

Nerve Supply

The femoral nerve innervates the Sartorius, which gets neural input from the L2, L3, and L4 nerve roots.

Blood Supply

The Sartorius is primarily supplied with blood via the muscular branches of the femoral artery. Over half of the blood supply originates from these muscular branches of the femoral artery, while collateral flow occurs elsewhere.

Functions of Sartorius Muscle

The sartorius muscle travels over the knee and hip joints, causing movement in both. It is possible to flex, externally rotate, and abduct the leg at the hip joint. The sartorius muscle can contract in order to flex the knee joint and medially rotate the tibia in relation to the femur.

Numerous movements involve the muscle. I would want to give you two instances (running and cycling). During the swing phase of the leg while running, it flexes the hip and knee. It stabilizes the knee and avoids an excessive “knock-knee” and genu valgum posture during the stance phase of the gait or if you stand on one leg, respectively. It promotes hip flexion during the pulling phase of cycling while using click pedals.

Causes Of Sartorius Muscle pain

The Sartorius might get tight for a variety of causes. Starting with the basics, repetitive exercise without a suitable warm-up or cool-down may cause stiff muscles. Stretching is crucial for easing muscular tension and getting the body ready for activity and rest.

Another factor causing your Sartorius to feel tight is being in one place for an extended amount of time (i.e., sitting cross-legged for some time).

Overuse can also cause the Sartorius to tighten, which, if ignored, can cause discomfort and lead to an injury.

Trigger Points of Sartorius Muscle

Sartorius trigger points are a painful condition that can cause burning, tingling, or even shooting sensations. Since Sartorius trigger points have no identified origins, there is currently no known therapy for this illness. Finding the trigger point and pressing on it while mildly extending the muscle are the steps in treating this ailment.

This muscle’s trigger points are mostly triggered in conjunction with those in its synergists. Muscles that complement one another and perform comparable tasks are known as synergists.

Rectus femoris (part of the quadriceps), Pectineus (part of the adductors), Iliopsoas, and Tensor fascia latae / TFL are some of the synergists.

Pain Patterns and Symptoms

Trigger points in the sartorius muscle can cause pain in the groin, inner thigh, and knee.

The pain is frequently felt along the muscle, extending slightly upwards and downwards from the trigger point. In contrast to most other pains induced by myofascial trigger points, which are generally dull and diffuse, the quality of the pain is frequently quite severe.

Aside from discomfort, trigger points in the upper Sartorius can cause sensory abnormalities (particularly numbness) in the anterior and lateral thighs.

Final Thought

The upper leg muscle, known as the sartorius muscle, arises from the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS) of the pelvic bone, descends the whole length of the femur diagonally, and attaches to the proximal medial section of the tibia.

Since the sartorius muscle originates in the groin and hip region, injuries or damage to it might cause discomfort and issues there. Sartorius strain can cause problems with regular tasks, including walking, dressing, or participating in sports. We recommend you visit your doctor if the pain affects your daily routine.

Whenever you see your doctor for hurting sartorius muscle, RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) is used during the acute phase of treatment to relieve pain and edema caused by potentially ruptured muscle fibers. In the later functional phase, a progressive muscle strengthening program is used, first with static exercises and then with dynamic ones.

+ posts

MD. Physiatrist at University of São Paulo

Leave a Comment