TuneUpFitness Blog

My Pesky Pectineus

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I have a story not unlike many of us yoga practitioners and athletes. We all have a story. I survived two very serious auto accidents within two years of each other. Long story—short; beside multiple, head, chest, and knee injuries, I had fractured my spine, breached the left hip socket which leaked synovial fluid out of the joint, resulting in four hip surgeries within three years. Three total hip replacements. The last one was 2 ½ years ago on my right hip. I’m almost 62 years old and complete healing, in my experience (for my standards of joyful yoga function) continues for over 2-3 years.

I underwent an anterior approach hip arthroscopy. There is a 4½ inch incision at the anterior, lateral portion of my pelvis, inferior to my ASIS. With this approach no muscles are cut, but a lot of fascia is! Muscles are separated, then retracted out of the way to expose the joint capsule, allowing space to disarticulate and amputate the head and neck of the femur. A titanium cup and plastic sleeve are positioned into the acetabulum, and a prosthetic head with long post placed within eviscerated femur bone.

Then they send you on your merry way with minimal weight bearing for 8 weeks. As a long time athlete, dancer and yoga practitioner, I commenced my PT exercises with gusto. Immediately I noticed (yes it was disarming and alarming!) I could no longer flex my hip to lift my leg off the floor in a supine position. I also had no ability to abduct & if I manually would get it out there, away from the other leg there was NO way, on God’s little green acre, I could get my legs back together by adducting my thigh. After about 4 months I could lift it (with much effort), and the abductors turned back on. The ability to achieve those movements gave me hope.

I saw my ortho and complained about the adductor issue, he calmly said “oh it’s still asleep”. It felt comatose to me! I was also having a lot of pelvic floor issues. I love using my Yoga Tune Up® therapy ball for pelvic floor release.

Fast forward, my strength improved and I am back to my practice. I feel very blessed to have found Jill Miller and Yoga Tune Up®. I am E-RYT, have 30 years’ experience in teaching and practice, and I couldn’t wait to become a certified YTU teacher, because of the inherent value it holds for everyone, not only yogis. There are nuances in Yoga Tune Up® which make traditional postures deeper, yet more effective, and precise. Targeting areas and tiny muscle groups laying close to the joint that are untouched by many traditional modalities.

Pectineus and anterior muscles of the hip
Pectineus and anterior muscles of the hip

I still periodically experience pain in my groin and inner thigh. I’ve been analyzing what exactly is my problem? The precise area I experience residual discomfort is deep within the inner thigh, groin, and pain the fold where the leg joins the body. This led me to examine the musculature contributing to both these locales.

With experimentation, examination, investigation, and scrutinizing, I determined the pectineus muscle is participating in my issue. This is why.

The pectineus originates along the pectineal line, at the ramus of the pubis, it inserts inferior to the lesser trochanter on the posterior surface of the femur. In short, it connects the pubic bone to the top of your thigh bone. The pectineus assists with moving your thigh inward toward the body (adduction), medially rotating, and bringing your thigh forward (flexion). The pectineus helps us achieve things akin to kicking a football, or crossing the legs. Similar to the actions I could not achieve for the longest time, lift my leg off the floor & especially adduct my hip!! The entire area sustained trauma. Here are some activities that can cause pectineus muscle pain and symptoms; sitting for long periods with legs crossed, a slip or catching yourself in a mis-step, and power walking when the stride is forcefully longer than one’s usual stride.

Now that we’ve discussed the ins an outs of the pectineus, join me on Friday for an adventure in self-exploration!

Enjoyed this article? Read Strengthen Your Pectineus!


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