When you hear someone talk about straining their groin, they’re likely talking about their adductor muscles. These muscles, which athletes and bodybuilders often neglect, are located along the inside of the thigh and work to bring your legs back to the midline. When you don’t strengthen or stretch this area properly, you can strain it with certain movements. Learning exercises for adductor strain and how to heal an adductor strain can help you find relief and prevent this condition.
How Does Adductor Strain Occur?
Because the adductors are responsible for opening and closing your legs, the muscles can become strained when you perform lateral movements. Adductor strain usually occurs when people push off and suddenly change direction. This creates opposing forces in the muscle, which can lead to strain. Rapid acceleration while sprinting can also cause this condition. Soccer players often experience this injury. If they kick the ball and meet resistance, such as coming into contact with another player or the ground. This causes the adductor muscle, which brings the legs together, to experience an abductive force. The muscle can tear as it contracts against the resistance. The lesion commonly occurs at the point where the muscle connects to the tendon. However, it can be located within the center of the muscle as well.
The Three Adductor Strain Grades
Adductor strains are graded by their severity. A grade I strain involves a minor tear and no weakness or loss of mobility. With a grade II strain, you typically have a partial tear that causes some loss of strength and function. A grade III strain is a complete tear, which causes total loss of function and bunching or retraction of the muscle fibers. Not all groin pain is caused by an injury to the adductor muscles. Therefore, it’s essential to undergo a comprehensive examination to determine the source of your pain. At our chiropractic care center, we will assess the alignment of your legs as well as the motion and flexibility of your hip joint and muscles. We will also check for inflammation and pain while performing specific movements.
How to Heal an Adductor Strain
You can recognize an adductor strain by a rapid onset of discomfort in the groin area. Some people feel or hear a popping sensation. You may develop bruising or swelling, and you probably won’t be able to continue the activity without hurting. If you’re wondering how to heal an adductor strain, you should know that rest, activity modification, ice, and physical therapy are essential for your recovery. Stop the activity you’re doing, and don’t perform any movements that cause pain. Using crutches can help you avoid pain while you’re walking around. Compression and elevation can also help in the early stages of the injury.
Stretching Exercises for Adductor Strain
Stretching and strengthening the muscles in the thigh area will help heal the tissue. Adductor strain rehab also helps prevent the injury from occurring again. It’s vital to balance the strength and flexibility of the muscles in the entire pelvic, hip, and thigh region. Strong adductor muscles aren’t helpful if your surrounding muscles are weak. Other muscles may work overtime, leading to further injury if you don’t work them equally. Some stretching exercises for adductor strain that facilitate mobility, flexibility, and healing include the following:
- Prone adductor stretch: Lie on your back, bend your knees, and place your feet flat on the floor. Allow one knee to relax to the side, opening it up and allowing it to drop toward the floor. Hold it there for several seconds, feeling the stretch in your inner thigh, before returning it to the starting position. Repeat ten times on one side before repeating the motion with the other leg.
- Standing adductor strain stretch: Standing with your feet wide, bend one knee and allow yourself to lunge toward that side. Your other leg will remain straight, and you’ll feel a stretch in your inner thigh.
- Butterfly Stretch: Sit on the floor, bringing the soles of your feet together to form a diamond shape with your legs. Allow your knees to fall toward the floor, feeling the stretch in your groin. You may have to pull your feet closer to your body or press gently on your knees with your elbows for a deeper stretch.
Strengthening Exercises for Adductor Strain
Some strengthening exercises for adductor strain include:
- Copenhagen exercise: Lie on your side on the floor. Your body should be perpendicular to a bench, coffee table, or other surfaces elevated 1 to 2 feet off the ground. Place the inner part of the foot of your top leg on the bench. Raise your upper body off the floor by pushing down with a bent elbow. Stabilize your body, and then raise your hips off of the floor. If you can, pull your bottom leg up toward the top one so that you’re doing a side plank with elevated legs. Slowly lower that leg for one repetition.
- Straight leg raise: Lie flat on your back, bending one knee and placing that foot against the floor. Keeping the other leg extended, raise it to the level of your bent knee. Then, lower it to the ground. Ensure that you maintain activation in your abdominal muscles and quadriceps as you perform this exercise.
- Sumo squats: Stand with your feet about 24 inches apart. Open your feet at a 45-degree angle. Bend your knees, keeping your body straight. Squat as low as you can, and return to the starting position.
Adductor Strain Recovery Time
It’s best to consult with a professional before doing any adductor strain exercises or stretches. We can help you determine the best time frame for adductor strain rehab treatments. Most patients with a grade I or II adductor strain have no pain after two weeks of treatment. They can usually return to their regular sport or activity after three weeks. However, more severe or chronic injuries require a longer healing time. Severe adductor strain is typically resolved within three months.
We’re Looking Forward to Helping You at Our Chiropractic Offices in NJ!
At the Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, led by Dr. Gregory Doerr, follows the highest and most professional medical standards to provide superior chiropractic help. After all, our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care and services in a comfortable healing atmosphere. Contact us to learn more about our chiropractic services! Our chiropractic offices in Cliffside Park, NJ, and Hackensack, NJ, are ready to welcome you!