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Muscle Name: Pectineus

Muscle Group: Lower Extremities - Legs - Front

Symptoms and Referred Pain:  
The pectineus will refer pain directly over the muscle, which is located in the front of the pelvis. Pain may also be felt deep into the groin as well as in the hip joint.

If you have pectineus trigger points, you will most likely be experiencing pain or dysfunction from adductor and/or iliopsoas trigger points as well. Consider reading the sections on these muscles.

You may also notice restriction in the ability to sit with the legs crossed and knees out, such as in the lotus position.

Muscle Description: The pectineus will flex the hip and bring the thighs together.

Self Treatment:
  • Self treatment is not recommended here unless a qualified therapist personally instructs the treatment. The reason for this is the easily injured blood vessels and nerves which pass through the crease of the hip where this muscle is located. It is strongly recommended to never place a self treatment tool of any kind inside the hollow of any joint in the body for the same reasons.
  • Correct any limb length inequalities
  • When sleeping, lie on the unaffected side and place a pillow between your knees to prevent aggravation of the muscle

How You May Have Injured This Muscle:
  • Tripping and falling
  • Horseback riding in which the rider uses the thighs, rather the legs and feet to grasp the horse
  • One leg is shorter than the other
  • Sitting cross-legged with the hips in a jackknifed position

Activities to Avoid: By avoiding the listed of activities, you will decrease the stress placed on this muscle and allow it to heal faster.

In general, you should be pain free for 2 weeks before slowly introducing these activities again. If you have any questions, please consult a licensed health care provider.
  • Horseback riding
  • Do not sit in a jackknifed position. To achieve this, be sure that the knees are not above the hips while seated.

Other Possible Disorders: This is a partial list of common medical conditions that may cause similar pain to what you are experiencing. It is important have a health care professional rule out these conditions prior to treating only this muscle group.
  • Obturator Nerve entrapment
  • Hip Joint Disease
  • Pubic Stress Symphysitis (more common in distance runners and those who compete in contact sports)
  • Upslip of the innominate bone

References : 
Simons DG, Travell JG, Simons LS, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, vol 1, 2nd Ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1999.
Travell JG, Simons DG, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction, vol 2. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1992.