Clinical Education

Adductor Strain

Adductor Muscle Strain:

This is a common injury in sports players where there is a sudden change in direction (i.e. football)

Image showing the Adductor Muscle anatomy

Image showing the Adductor Muscle anatomy

Subjective History:

The onset is usually acute and the pain will be felt either localised to the belly of the adductor longus , proximal to the musculotendinous junction or in the tendon near its insertion at the inferior pubic ramus.
They may present with pain on walking , getting in and out of cars or with crossing their legs
Objective Examination:

On examination there will be pain on passive abduction, pain on resisted adduction or combined flexion and adduction with localised tenderness


Image from OpenI – Licensed by CC

Refer to Physiotherapy
Initial management should involve protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation (PRICE).
Painful activities should be avoided
The athlete should not be advised back to sport too quickly to avoid the condition becoming chronic
Patients should not be taught stretches as there is evidence that this may be a risk factor for developing tendinopathy.
The treatment regimen can be summarised as follows :

0-48 hrs:

POLICE Protocol (Protection, optimal loading , ice, compression, elevation)
Active pain-free exercises (gentle range of movement)
After the first 48 hrs:

Gradually increase strength:

Active abduction/adduction
Adduction/flexion against resistance( e.g. therabands/light weights)
Stabilising exercises (e.g. pulleys with other leg, one-leg squats)
Functional Strengthening:

Pool running
Sport Specific skills:

Running-straight line
Running-figure of eight
Rapid changes of direction
Kicking-gradual increase

Image from OpenI – Licensed by CC