This is part 3 of a series on groin pain. If you missed the beginning go back to Part 1 .
Here is a simplified arrangement of the muscles to help you better understand your groin pain.
Three adductors bring the thighs together:
Adductor brevis and longus (means short and long) are right at the top between the bones of the pelvis and the thigh. Adductor magnus (large) fills the whole inner thigh from deep in the crotch to the inner knee.
The pectineus (a comb) is a short muscle up in the same area with the small adductors. You use it to cross your legs.
Two long inner thigh muscles cross both the hip and knee joints: Gracilis (slender), primarily an adductor, is long and thin stretching from below the inner knee straight up to the pubic bone. Sartorius (tailor) starts with the gracilis at the knee but goes across the thigh to the front angle of the hip bone. It helps flex and externally rotate the thigh in a sitting position like a tailor (from which it gets it’s name).
Flexing the hip are the iliopsoas (means hip and loin) and the tensor fasciae latae (tightens the broad fascia). Iliopsoas connects the inner top of the thigh bone to the inner side of the hip bone (iliacus portion) and also to the lowest five vertebrae (psoas portion). TFL works on the opposite side of the hip bone to the iliacus and connects the front of the outer hip bone to the outside of the thigh.
Quadriceps (means four heads) Three of them affect the groin. The vastus medialis goes from inner knee to just below the groin at the inner thigh and the rectus femoris crosses the front of the hip. The vastus intermedius lies deep in the middle beneath the rectus. It is the most important one because of it’s Trigger Point pattern.
The next post is on Trigger Points that refer pain to the groin.