Monday, December 12, 2011

The Sartorius Muscle



The other night I awakened with severe muscle pain(cramp) in my leg. As usual I got up to stretch by walking around. This time no improvement. It hurt so bad I thought I was going to vomit. The next morning I decided it was my sartorius. Located in the medial thigh, the Taylor's muscle responds to sitting cross legged or putting your foot on your opposite knee and pressing the knee toward the floor. This is the longest muscle of the body and crosses 2 joints(hip and knee). Hope you never have a sartorius spasm but if you do now you know how to treat it.

posted by joe @ 12/12/2011 08:26:00 PM   16 comments

16 Comments:

At 9:32 AM, Blogger joe said...

I realize a muscle spasm in the sartorius muscle is rare. I asked my friendly orthopedist about it, and he was doubtful that I had really had a spasm in this "small" muscle. I reviewed my activity that might have caused the spasm. When I got to recently restarting swimming, he asked are, "you doing the breast stroke". When I affirmed, he said the frog kick is what caused the spasm. I agree and have tried to localize the muscle action when "frog-kicking".

 
At 12:13 PM, Blogger joe said...

An update on this unusual muscle spasm....my solution was taken from another physician who felt like the tailor position would give the stretch needed to relieve the spasm......not so.
After months of this tricky muscle spasm tailor position makes it worse.... internal rotation( turn knee in toward the other knee) works. You can do this lying in bed( where lots of muscle spasms originate), sitting, or standing. This is based on my ongoing unfortunate Sartorius spasm.

 
At 5:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I share your pain. I had one of those lovely cramps and it went on for 5 awful minutes. it IS the WORST! I got a homedics deep muscle massager from bed bath& beyond and keep it plugged in by the bed.Should I have a cramp again I jump up and massage it.SOmetimes I find if I bend over it starts cramping at the top of the leg. I will try your solution should I get another one.But I sure hope that never happens.

 
At 8:04 AM, Blogger Honey Badger said...

too much cycling. flexing hip and walking makes it worse. 11 days ago muscle spasm so bad. couldn't stretch it. bruised inner thigh it was so bad. i couldnt figure out how to stretch it. not healing well. any flexion of hip causes a burning sensation. sartorius and adductors all sore.

 
At 6:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Lord yes. This happened to me about an hour ago from a dead sleep. My family was about to call an ambulance I was howling so bad. Thanks and I join you in hoping no one gets a Charlie Horse in that muscle.

 
At 11:55 PM, Blogger The McCamy Family said...

Very interesting information. My wife makes fun of me because this cramp floors me for 5-10 minutes of pain and agony with a struggle to find any relief. My "best" solution to date is to lay on chest and try and pull my foot to my butt, which is commonly thought of as a quad stretch. Serious, monumental pain. Worst cramp I've ever had. Gets so bad at times it travels up to my hip flexor area. One of the few thinks that just makes me want to cry as a grown man.

 
At 6:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suffer from these terrible cramps which baffle my husband. The only relief I have found is to stand and bend over the bed and wrapping a heating pad to the area. I also eat half a sour pickle with salt and drink water with it and PRAY! I don't recommend the sour pickle with salt to anyone without consulting your physician first for health reasons. I have had them in both legs before at the same time. It is unreal!

 
At 9:06 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you for top Joe.. I had that MF cramp a min ago... It lasted about 5-10 mins and I had he bear w it since couldn't find a comfortable position to relieve the pain.. I tried the quad stretch (heel 2 butt) but moving the leg from 80-100 degrees was worse so I found that lying face down on bed w the leg hanging out from the knee down helped me getting straight and relieving the pain then slowly did the quad stretch once the pain was gone and now o just did your advice like rotating the knee / leg inward and feels so much better.. Now it makes sense since the insertion of this muscle goes from out of the leg in... So thank you for sharing!

 
At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get these cramps all the time as well - from dehydrating frequently. I have found that chug-a-lugging either pickle juice or plain yellow mustard stops it in it's tracks within 2 minutes. I found this idea by googling it and doing my own research. My dad had these leg cramps too from his cancer. He would be totally undone by the pain they caused and would hobble for a couple of days afterwards. I was determined to find a cure of some type - especially after experiencing them myself. That's how I found the mustard thing.

 
At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow...i thought i was the only one who got these. impossible to stretch, I've often had double spasms. the worst is when they seem to go away and then bam!! You can beat it, massage it, whatever. Mine are so thick that they feel like they're armor plated. I think the best relief comes from laying on your back with your legs hanging and butt on the bed. Let your legs fall to the floor while someone holds your chest down or you hang onto something. Maybe try to spread your legs as they dangle.

 
At 5:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like I have the unfortunate record... my Sartorius locked up for 4 hours!!! Yes, 4 HOURS! Pain was an 8 or 9 for most of it. Ultimately ended up in the ER where IV muscle relaxer and pain medication allowed muscle to release. This was 3 months ago. I am still recovering, as the episode completely trashed my right leg... weakness, atrophy. I am posting because I am fearful of another event. Strength is starting to come back, but so are some sensations that may be pre-cramp. So, I guess I don't understand the solution from the posts. Would someone please need me with the specifics? Thanks!!!

 
At 6:23 AM, Anonymous Snark said...

Sartorius flexes the hip, externally rotates the leg and flexes the knee. My spasm are exacerbated by long bike rides, even on a trainer, especially if I deliberately spin, (i.e.pull up,) which activates both hip and knee flexure. That recruits sartorius big time. Post exercise, the spasm is mid thigh,adductor canal, and can be very severe, (8/10,) and is invariably induced by some careless move on my part. The prohibited move is the combination of hip flexion, knee flexion and external rotation, as in trying to sit cross legged or, worse still, bending the leg to remove a sock while lying on my back. I have learned to press the knee to my nose, not allowing it to drift out, otherwise , WHAM!! So for me, the critical movement seems to be the external rotation. Breaking the spasm is not always immediately successful. I know that I must immediately achieve maximum muscle stretch to break the spasm, so straight knee (the opposite of the quad stretch recommended above), straight hip (Lie on you tummy to get that hip straight), and externally rotate the leg (turn the toes pointing out) with abduction (separate the feet). Quick action on my part can abort a spasm in seconds. But a bad spasm will leave the muscle sore and tender for days, and leave it vulnerable to further cramping for the duration. Resting the muscle (by deliberately not pulling up) definitely improves things. Stretching this long beast is difficult because of the two joints and the complex motion. It is a combination of carefully positioned hip and knee extension, hip abduction, and (paradoxically) external rotation of the leg. The paradox is that the muscle, because it is inserted into the medial aspect of the tibia, will flex and externally rotate the knee/leg when the knee is flexed. So you may think stretch = extend hip and knee with internal rotation. Yet when the knee and the hip are extended, maximum sartorius length is achieved by externally rotating the leg and abduction. Check it on yourself!!. You end up on your back,or standing, legs straight, toes pointing out, feet as wide apart as possible. Strengthening is best by doing the exercise lying on your back, ankle attached to an elastic therapy band, bending the leg so as to produce hip flexion, knee flexion and internal rotation. You know you are doing it right when you feel the muscle harden if you palpate it at the groin and alongside the knee. Hope this is helpful. BTW, there is an enormous amount of alternative fact out there regarding our longest muscle, the sartorius.

 
At 9:14 PM, Blogger Judy C said...

I am glad I am not alone. I have had these insane muscle spasms, usually both sides at the same time, for the last 18 months. I live in a 2 story house and was stuck downstairs for over an hour a few months ago. I have make notes on the relief suggestions. Thanks

 
At 8:14 PM, Blogger keejooo said...

And I thought I was the only one going through this. I have learned that when I play basketball for hours at a time and I don't stretch, The spasms come at the worst time. It is usually when I am sleep. Sometimes it happens when I cross my legs trying to take my sock off and the pain begins!!!! It is so bad it makes me want to cry because it seems like there is no way to stretch it out. It feels like someone is pulling the muscle straight out of your body.... what I have done to try to get the spasm out is I run in place trying to get my knees up as high as possible, and then start walking really fast. I live in apartment so I'm not really walking far, but in circles and then after doing that, I try to keep my leg is straight as possible and put an ice pack on the muscle. I get them almost every time I play basketball for hours at a time. I hope this helps somebody

 
At 10:24 PM, Blogger G Godbold said...

I unfortunately get these cramps very often. For the longest time i though it was my gracilis, but nope. Ive found that, once the cramp shoots me strait out of bed anyway, that if i spread my legs and push my hips through full extension while internally rotating the effected side the cramp almost immedietly releases. Then i lay in bed with a cold pack on it nursing my wounds. Aside from tearing my ACL, this is the worst pain ive ever felt.

 
At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My sartorius cramped so bad it literally tore in four places... True story, leg swelled up almost 5 extra inches.. thank God it healed.. continuously rehabbed for about 1 month including some completely excruciating deep tissue therapy... Keeping my electrolytes up and hot water before bed has helped prevent this from happening again

 

Post a Comment

<< Home

Disclaimer: This blog is for entertainment purposes. If you are a doctor, practice at your own risk.