Adductor Strain

By: Mariah True, PTA

What is an Adductor Strain?

A muscle strain is the stretching or tearing of a muscle connecting muscle to bone. More specifically, an adductor strain is when you put too much stress on your groin muscles. This can causes an intense stretch or tear to the muscle or muscles.  Often patients state they have a muscle pull or strain. 


Anatomy of Adductor Strain

There are five adductor muscles in the hip, 

  • Adductor Longus
  • Adductor Brevis
  • Adductor Magnus
  • Gracilis
  • Pectineus. 

Hip Adductor Muscles JOI REHAB Labeled hip musclesAdductor Muscles Labeled

These muscles are located on the inside of the thigh and are usually referred to as the groin. The adductors are attached to the pubis and femur and are supplied by 

  • Obturator Nerve
  • Tibial Nerve
  • Femoral Nerve

Anatomical diagram of the hip adductor muscles attached to the pelvis and femurImage of Hip Adductors

What Causes a Strained Adductor?

An adductor strain typically happens when you push off in the opposite direction causing the adductor muscles to generate opposite forces and forcibly stretch your muscles. The Adductor Longus is usually the most common adductor muscle to strain on the dominant leg/foot that is planted. An adductor strain usually occurs with athletes who play a sport that involves kicking, quick changes in direction, running, and jumping such as soccer, hockey, and football.  

Often in sports, it is difficult to tell the difference between a groin or adductor strain and a sports hernia.  It is very important to be evaluated by a physician to know which injury you have. 

What Does an Adductor Strain Feel Like?

Common signs and symptoms of an adductor strain are pain on the inside of your thigh, pain when bringing your legs together, or pain when lifting your knee. There also could be a popping sensation at the inside of the thigh and limping could occur as well. You may also notice bruising and swelling. Although these are common signs and symptoms of an adductor strain, to verify your condition consult with your physician for a physical examination.

How Do You Treat an Adductor Strain?

If an adductor strain is not too severe (grade 1 strain), it usually can heal on its own with application of rest, ice, elevation, and rest. This is known as The RICE Protocol. The usage of anti-inflammatories can assist with swelling and pain as well. 

If a strain is severe additional treatment could be beneficial. Such as physical therapy, massage therapy, electrotherapy, and stretching and application of heat. Lastly, if you have a grade 3 strain (the most severe) surgery may be required.  

When Should You Go to the Doctor for Adductor Strain?

You should seek medical attention if you begin to have severe pain or swelling through the inside of your leg (groin). If you feel tingling, numbness, changes in color (pale coloration), and lack of mobility you should also contact your doctor.  

Often a groin strain can be confused with a hernia, more specifically an inguinal hernia. If you notice a bump or multiple bumps at or near your groin you may have an inguinal hernia rather than an adductor strain, seek your doctor for further treatment.

How Do You Prevent an Adductor Strain?

A good way to prevent muscle strain of any kind is to complete an active or dynamic warm up, such as walking, biking, light jogging, or activities that involve moving while stretching. This promotes blood flow and prevents muscle injury. Another way to prevent a strain is to regularly stretch and strengthen your adductor muscles as tolerated.

JOI Rehab Adductor StretchAdductor Stretch 

Related Links:

New to JOI, you can now schedule your follow up appointments and cancel appointments on the JOI Portal.

If you have an Adductor Strain or Groin Strain, the Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute can help. Call (904)JOI-2000, schedule online, or click the link below. If you would like to see a JOI Rehab Therapist in 1 of our 12 locations, call (904)858-7045.



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