HomeHealthSartorius muscle, the longest in the body
Sartorius muscle, the longest in the body
November 23, 2020
The sartorius muscle is part of the thigh. Although many people do not know it, it is the longest in the human body. It is often thought that it is the femoral, but the truth is that it has a greater length.
One of its main functions is bending. Its arrangement makes it possible to perform certain postures, such as crossing the legs when we sit down. The problem is that, like any other muscle, it gets injured. This can seriously affect all mobility of the lower limbs.
What is the sartorius muscle?
The sartorius muscle, as we have already pointed out, is one of those that is part of the thigh. Specific, it originates in the upper and anterior area of the iliac spine. From there it crosses until it reaches the top of the tibia.
In the tibia it is inserted in its innermost and upper part. In this way, it describes a kind of curve along the thigh, passing behind the medial condyle of the femur until it reaches its point of insertion. This last section is actually a tendon.
Be part of the call goose foot. It is formed by the distal tendons of the semitendinosus, internal rectus and sartorius muscles. It is an area prone to very disabling injuries.
In some people there may be variations from the usual position of the sartorius muscle. This is expressed in a study published in the Chilean Journal of Anatomy. This is important to consider, especially when performing surgeries or treatments.
This muscle is the longest in the human body. Going from the pelvis to the knee, describing a certain curve, it usually measures about 55 centimeters in an adult of medium height. It can even reach 6 centimeters.
Innervation is carried out by the femoral nerve. In addition, the femoral artery passes through it and is responsible for transporting oxygenated blood to the most distal parts of the leg.
What functions does it fulfill?
As explained by the Royal Spanish Academy, the word ‘sartorio’ comes from Latin sartor which means 'tailor'. This muscle does not get its name randomly. It comes from the fact that one of its functions is to allow the crossing of the legs, which is the typical posture used by ancient tailors.
The sartorius muscle is a skeletal muscle of the striated type. That is, it contracts voluntarily, unlike smooth muscles. The latter are part, for example, of the digestive system and contract unconsciously.
The main function is the flexion of the leg. If we visualize its disposition, it is easier to understand. When it contracts, it pulls the lower leg up toward the hip. It also allows other movements, such as rotating the hip outward or bending the knees. Similarly, it is involved in the internal rotation of the leg or its elevation.
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Main causes of sartorius muscle pain
The pain of the sartorius muscle, like it happens in any other muscle group, it usually comes from a traumatic injury or overexertion. In addition, other symptoms may appear, such as swelling, redness, or increased sensitivity.
Trauma injuries are those that are caused by a direct blow to the muscle area. Any blow in the area of the iliac spine or in the central or inner part of the thigh can cause this pain. The same happens if it occurs in the goose foot.
When trauma affects the goose foot it can compromise other movements, damaging nearby muscles. The truth is that, more than due to trauma as such, injuries related to tendonitis or bursitis usually appear in this area.
Goose foot tendinitis and bursitis
Tendonitis consists of the inflammation of some of these tendons. It can cause lameness, inner pain and even inability to move the leg if the pain is very severe.
Bursitis, on the other hand, is the inflammation of the bursa. It is a fluid-filled cavity, similar to the synovium of other joints. It allows to cushion the friction between the bones and the tendons to reduce the damage generated during the movement.
Both injuries are classic in athletes. Especially in runners or in those who perform exercises that produce a lot of impact on this area of the knees.
Injuries from overexertion or lack of training
Overexertion consists of performing a workout in which too intense a force is tensed or generated on the muscle. In these cases, some of the fibers may break. Actually, this overexertion can also be associated with a lack of training.
Other causes of pain in the sartorius muscle
Although it is a rare situation, pain in the sartorius muscle may occur due to the presence of a calcification. This is explained by a study published in Semergen-Family Medicine. This calcification comes, in turn, from a previous trauma.
How can this muscle be strengthened?
Strengthening the sartorius muscle is essential. First of all, because strength training brings numerous health benefits, not just aesthetically. For example, it speeds up your metabolism and helps you burn more calories at rest.
Further, the leg muscles support the entire body weight. They allow us to walk and move naturally. In the case of the sartorius muscle, it is responsible for us to flex the leg and perform rotational movements. Something basic to crouch down.
Therefore, in healthy people it is recommended to perform strength training with the lower body. Whether in the gym or at home, there are numerous exercises that can be done that help strengthen this muscle. Squats can be one of them.
Stretches are also another fundamental pillar. In the case of the sartorius, to perform it, the leg must be brought to the opposite position. For this, it is recommended to lie on your side on a safe surface. The upper leg should be extended and the hips rotated inward.
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Discomfort in any muscle should be checked
It is important that we bear in mind that if there is any discomfort in the sartorius muscle, as in any other muscle, it should be consulted with a specialist. If we let the pain or discomfort go by, it could be an evolving pathology, such as tendinitis.
Using a small roll of plastic under the thigh we can eliminate tension. These types of objects are sold in many sports stores. The idea is to get on top, on the ground, and roll on it pressing the thigh.
Finally, it is also convenient to emphasize again that the sartorius muscle must be strengthened and stretched frequently. Thus we avoid possible injuries that appear due to overexertion or lack of training.
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