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L i s te n to T h e A B M P Po d c a s t a t a b m m /p o d c a s t s o r w h e reve r yo u a cce s s yo u r favo r i te p o d c a s t s 71 TAKEAWAY: The sartorius plays an important role in stabilizing both the hip and knee. It works both synergistically and antagonistically with the tensor fasciae latae, gracilis, and semitendinosus to achieve these important functions. PALPATING THE SARTORIUS Positioning: client supine with hip externally rotated and knee flexed. 1. Standing at the client's side facing the thigh, locate the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS) with your fingertips. 2. Slide your fingertips inferiorly and medially along the lateral edge of the femoral triangle. (Caution: The femoral triangle lies just medial to the sartorius and contains lymph nodes as well as the femoral nerve, artery, and vein. To avoid these structures, palpate lateral to the inguinal crease. 3. Allow your fingers to remain superficial on the thigh to find the strap-like fibers of the sartorius. 4. Resist as the client performs flexion and external rotation of the hip to ensure proper location. PASSIVE STRETCHING OF THE SARTORIUS Positioning: client prone with knee flexed. 1. Stand at the client's side and grasp the leg with one hand while stabilizing the pelvis with the other. 2. The client remains relaxed as you rotate the hip internally, moving the leg toward you. 3. Extend the knee as you reach the endpoint of the hip's internal rotation while maintaining a stable pelvis. 4. Additional hip extension may be required to achieve a noticeable stretch on the sartorius muscle. This can be achieved by placing a wedge or bolster beneath the client's thigh, maintaining an extended hip while the hip is internally rotated and the knee is extended. Ligament injuries to the underlying medial collateral ligament are very common, particularly when these three muscles are weak compared to the lateral stabilizers of the knee. Excessive tension in the iliotibial band and vastus lateralis muscle may also stress the pes anserinus, leading to generalized medial knee pain, specific trigger points, and eventual problems with patellofemoral tracking. Christy Cael is a licensed massage therapist and certified strength and conditioning specialist. Her private practice focuses on injury treatment, biomechanical analysis, craniosacral therapy, and massage for clients with neurological issues. She is the author of Functional Anatomy: Musculoskeletal Anatomy, Kinesiology, and Palpation for Manual Therapists (New York: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2010; Contact her at

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