Adductor strain

What are the adductor muscles?
There are five adductor muscles: the pectineus, adductor brevis and adductor longus (called short adductors) go from the pelvis to the thigh bone and the gracilis and adductor magnus (long adductors) go from the pelvis to the knee.

The main function of these muscles is to pull the legs together.

The most common cause of a groin strain occurs when a muscle is stretched too far (when lunging forward or sideways reaching for a ball), or meets an unexpected opposing force or it can result from the sudden starts and stops of kicking and running.

The chronic groin pain often encountered in rugby players is likely to be caused by the motion of forceful kicking in which abdominal muscles and hip flexors and adductors are repetitively stressed.


  • Sudden pain in the groin or inner thigh
  • Pain or inability to contract the adductor muscles
  • Have difficulty in running especially sprinting
  • Swelling and bruising
  • A lump or gap in the adductor muscles

What you can do

  • Apply RICE: rest - slows down bleeding and reduces the risk of further damage; Ice - eases pain, reduces swelling, reduces bleeding initially; compression - reduces bleeding and swelling; elevation - reduces bleeding and swelling by allowing fluids to flow away from the site of injury
  • Maintain fitness
  • See a sports injury specialist

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