The adductor muscles can become inflamed through overuse or following injury resulting in pain and stiffness at the top of the groin.
Symptoms of groin muscle inflammation
Pain in the groin at the top of the adductor muscles that can radiate down the leg. Pain on resisted hip adduction (pulling the leg inwards). Pain on resisted hip flexion (raising the thigh). Pain at a specific point on the bone in the groin. Difficulty in running especially sprinting or changing direction.
Adductor inflammation explained
There are five adductor or groin muscles in total, which are divided into short and long adductors. The pectineus, adductor brevis, and adductor longus originate from the pelvis and insert into the thigh bone and so are termed short adductors. The gracilis and adductor magnus originate from the pelvis and insert into the inner knee and so are long adductors.
The main function of these muscles is to pull the legs together. They are also used quite a lot in sprinting, playing football, horse riding and hurdling.
Inflammation of the tendons or tendonitis that attach the muscles to the bone can occur through overuse or as a result of a previous injury such as a groin strain.
Treatment of adductor inflammation
What can the athlete do?
- Rest. This is important.
- Apply cold therapy
- Maintain fitness by cycling if you can do it pain-free.
- See a sports injury professional who can advise on rehabilitation.
What can a sports injury specialist or doctor do?
- Prescribe anti-inflammatory medication e.g. ibuprofen.
- Use ultrasound or laser treatment.
- Prescribe a full rehabilitation programme to avoid re-injury.
- Use sports massage techniques to aid healing.