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Hip Adductor Strain

Adductor strain is a common cause of inner thigh and groin pain.  The muscles of the inner thigh and groin are used to squeeze something between your knees and they stabilize the pelvis and legs while walking or running. The primary adductor muscles are the adductor longus, magnus, and brevis. The adductor longus is most commonly injured.

Adductor strain is a common sports related injury. Some of the risk factors are previous hip or groin injury, age, weak adductors, muscle fatigue, decreased range of motion, and inadequate stretching.

Most adductor strains happen when the muscles are stretched while simultaneously contracted. This often happens when an athlete pushes off in the opposite direction.

This injury is most often described as a sudden onset of pain in the groin region or medial thigh that is worsened with activity.  With more severe injuries there might be bruising or swelling.  The patient will most likely have pain with resisted adduction of the hip and with passive stretching. If there is also decreased strength it could be due to muscle tear or avulsion injury.

Managing this injury will include rest from sports, ice, compression, and physical therapy. Physical therapy will include stretching and strengthening of the affected leg and core accompanied by a gradual return to sport. Acute injuries may return to sport in 4 to 8 weeks while chronic strains might take months to heal.

Prevention of adductor strains focuses on adductor strengthening. For example, NHL players with weak abductors participated in a 6-week preseason-strengthening program, which significantly reduced adductor strain injuries.

Belton Parks, MO. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.beltonparks.org/Blog.aspx?IID=15

Kiel J, Kaiser K. Adductor Strain. [Updated 2020 Jun 24]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493166/

Rick Wortley, PT, MBA

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