The gracilis muscle is one of the muscles found in the groin. Starting at the external point of the ischiopubic ramus on the pubic bone and extending down to the upper medial shaft of the tibia, the gracilis is responsible for hip abduction and assists knee flexion. Adduction brings the leg from the outside inward, bringing both legs together or across the body. This muscle assists in stabilizing and medially rotating the knee. There are five groin muscles used in adducting the hip, including the pectineus, adductor brevis, adductor longus, adductor mangus, and the gracilis muscle. Stretching the groin helps prevent problems in the gracilis. The obturator nerve innervates this muscle though the lumbar spinal vertebrae. Injury to this area can lead to more than just muscle problems; nerve impingement can restrict muscle control and sensory input coming from the groin area. Impingement of the oburator nerve leads to radiating pain starting in the hip, and reaching through the inner thigh and down to the knee.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Gracilis