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Pectineus Muscle Pain & Injury: Symptoms, Treatment & Recovery

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  • 0:02 The Pectineus Muscle
  • 1:41 Symptoms of an Injured…
  • 1:54 Treatment & Recovery
  • 3:27 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Dan Washmuth

Dan has taught college Nutrition, Anatomy, Physiology, and Sports Nutrition courses and has a master's degree in Dietetics & Nutrition.

The pectineus is a small muscle located in the groin region of the body that is often injured while playing various sports. If you want to learn about the symptoms, treatment, and recovery of pectineus injuries, you came to the right place!

The Pectineus Muscle

Teryn is a 20-year-old college softball player whose team is playing in the conference championship game. During the first inning of the game, Teryn came to bat and hit a line drive all the way to the right-field wall. Teryn ran as fast as she could and slid feet-first into second base for a double.

Unfortunately, during the slide, Teryn's leg got stuck underneath her, putting a lot of force and tension on the muscles in her groin. Teryn tried to stand up, but she was in too much pain. Her coach called for a time-out and her teammates helped her off the field. Teryn and the team's athletic trainer went to the ER to get her injury evaluated. After putting Teryn through several tests, a doctor informed her she had strained her pectineus muscle.

The pectineus is a small muscle located in the groin region of the body. More specifically, this muscle begins at the bottom, front part of the pubic bone and then extends down the groin and attaches near the top part of the femur, which is the large bone of the thigh.

The pectineus muscle is involved in the both adduction and flexion. Adduction refers to the action of bringing the upper part of the leg toward the midline of the body, for example, lowering your leg from a raised position up at your side. Flexion means bringing the upper part of the leg upward in front of the body, like when you bring your leg up as you step forward.

The pectineus muscle can become injured by overstretching; specifically, by stretching a leg or legs too far out to the side or front of the body. Pectineus injuries can also be caused by rapid movements like kicking or sprinting, changing directions too quickly while running, or even by sitting with a leg crossed for too long.

Symptoms of an Injured Pectineus

So how do you know if you've injured your pectineus muscle? The most common symptom of an injured pectineus muscle is pain. Other symptoms may include bruising, swelling, tenderness, and stiffness.

Treatment & Recovery

Treatment of a pectineus injury should usually begin with the P.R.I.C.E. protocol. This is a method of treatment which stands for protect, rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Further broken down, this method asks patients to protect the injured muscle from movements and objects that might cause further injury; minimize activities that use the pectineus muscle, like walking and running, in order to allow the muscle time to heal; and ice the injury to decrease and prevent swelling, as well as help decrease any pain. Icing should be performed for 15-20 minutes at a time every few hours.

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