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Adductor strains: Treatment, symptoms, advice and help

About adductor strains

This is a muscular problem wherein the adductor muscles of the legs get sprained owing to vigorous and intense movements around the hip joint. These adductor muscles are normally responsible for pulling the legs towards the body.

Adductor strains: Incidence, age and sex

Adults are most common victims of this muscular problem. It is seen more commonly in younger men. Adductor strains rarely occur in children.

Signs and symptoms of adductor strains: Diagnosis

The signs and symptoms of adductor strains may vary according to the severity of the sprain and are graded accordingly:

  • Grade I: This a mild form where the muscles get overstretched. It may go unnoticed for several days until discomfort in walking is observed. The discomfort may be augmented on walking or running when the affected muscle group is used.
  • Grade II: This is a moderate form in which a partial tear of the adductor muscles may cause pain over the thigh and groin which exacerbates with walking. The person may also experience limitation of movement around the hip joint. Moreover bruises over the inner thigh may come up after several hours of muscle sprain.
  • Grade III: This is a severe form which occurs as a result of a complete tear in the adductor muscles. Though it rarely occurs, it may present with intense, sharp pain in the groin and the thigh accompanied by marked reduction in the strength of adductor muscles. Occasionally, swelling in the groin region or bruises may be the other associated features.

Causes and prevention of adductor strains

Adductor strains generally arise in athletes where overuse of adductor group of muscles takes place with increasing propensity. Thus long standing stretching of muscles may precede adductor strains especially, when triggered by some sudden intense movement. Adductor strains are commonly encountered in sports persons playing soccer and gymnastics.

Adductor strains: Complications

There seem to be no absolute complications of adductor strains. Only if they are left untreated, they may result in frequent recurrence of pain and restricted movements around hip joint or long standing pain of the upper thigh and the groin.

Adductor strains: Treatment

The adductor strains may heal on their own within a few weeks with adequate rest to the limbs. It is advisable to limit physical activity and apply minimum strain to the hip joint. It is desirable to use crutches or a walker while walking to minimise weight bearing. Cold compress and analgesics help in relieving the pain. Elevation of the affected leg while sitting or lying down may effectively curb swelling, if present. A physical therapist may be consulted for appropriate stretching and strengthening exercises of hip joint. Such exercises help in increasing the range of movements. Surgical intervention has no role in managing adductor strains.