The gracilis muscle is in the groin. The muscle extends from the pubic bone and goes to the tibia.
The primary function of this muscle is to aid in knee flexion. It also helps with hip abduction.
Various other jobs of this muscle are to assist in knee rotation as well as aid in the stabilization of the knee.
If you’ve got gracilis pain, chances are that it’s preventing you from doing a lot of things.
In this article, we’ll talk about the causes and potential treatment options.
Gracilis Pain: Associated Signs and Symptoms
Here are some of the signs that you have an injured/strained gracilis muscle:
- Burning on inner thigh
- Stinging on inner thigh
- Pain that’s present even when you’re sitting still
The burning/stinging will usually be felt as though it’s directly underneath the skin.
As with any muscle strain, the pain can be chronic (long-lasting) or acute.
Most of the time, gracilis pain will go away on its own without medical intervention, but only if you rest the muscle.
If you continue to use the muscle, then any treatment attempts won’t be as effective.
What Causes Gracilis Muscle Pain?
There are various activities that can put you at a greater risk of injuring your gracilis muscle. These activities include:
- Poor Sitting Posture: Ask yourself: do you sit with your legs crossed for extended periods of time? If so, this can be the cause of your symptom.
- Horseback Riding: Believe it or not, people who participate in horseback riding are more susceptible to this type of injury compared to other people.
- Skiing: In the skiing community, gracilis muscle injuries are relatively common compared to other sports. Keep this in mind if you’re a skier.
- Accident: Obviously, if you slip and fall or get involved in some other kind of physical accident, then this can lead to your discomfort.
As you can see, these risk factors all involve physical activity. By understanding the root cause of your symptom, it will be easier to fix the problem.
Additional Risk Factors
Aside from physical activity, there are other risk factors to consider. These include:
- Public Stress Syndrome
- Nerve Entrapment
- Hip Joint Disease
Osteoarthritis is commonly referred to as “wear and tear” arthritis. It’s a degenerative joint disease that’s most common in older adults.
If you’re feeling chronic discomfort in or around your gracilis muscle, then it could be due to osteoarthritis.
Nerve compression is another possibility. This is when a nerve gets pressed upon, leading to constant stimulation.
The result is chronic pain that doesn’t go away. Some compressed nerves return to normal on their own while others require medical intervention.
Treatment Option #1: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS)
One of the most effective ways to reduce your pain within a short period is to take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
These include naproxen, ibuprofen, and more. These drugs target and fight inflammation so that you can experience more comfort throughout the day.
Note that if you’re on any medications, you should talk to your primary care doctor before taking these drugs.
Treatment Option #2: Cold or Warm Therapy
A combination of cold and warm therapy can provide temporary gracilis pain relief.
There are many gels and cold packs that are sold over-the-counter which work great.
In fact, many of these gels work better than traditional ice packs for pain relief. It’s estimated that they work twice as fast and are longer lasting as well.
The same with warm therapy- it’s fast-acting and can be applied without physically burning the skin.
Treatment Option #3: Groin Supports
A final treatment that we recommend is a groin support. They’re exactly as they sound- a support structure that “holds” the gracilis muscle in place.
By doing this, you’ll A) Reduce further damage, and B) Promote faster healing.
On a similar token, compression shorts can also be used since these provide the same structural benefits.
How Long Until Gracilis Pain Goes Away?
It depends on the individual. Specifically, it depends on your age (older people heal more slowly) as well as your activity level.
If you continually use the muscle while it’s trying to heal, then you’re never going to get better. You need to focus on resting the muscle so that it can heal.
If it’s due to a more serious condition- like osteoarthritis for instance- then more individualized medical treatment will be required.
Otherwise, it’s simply a matter of time and taking it easy on your gracilis muscle.