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Adductor Pollicis Anatomy: Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

Adductor Pollicis Anatomy Study

Adductor Pollicis Anatomy Origin: Transverse head: Distal two-thirds of the palmar surface of the third metacarpal
Oblique head:
 Volar surface of the capitate, the bases of the second and third metacarpals, the palmar carpal ligaments, and the tendon sheath of flexor carpi radialis
Insertion: Medial aspect of the base of the proximal phalanx and the medial sesamoid of the metacarpophalangeal joint of the thumb
Action:  Adduction and flexion of the thumb
Blood Suppy: Superficial palmar branches of the radial artery
Innervation: Ulnar nerve (C8, T1)

Synergist: Abductor Pollicis Brevis, Opponens Pollicis, Flexor Pollicis Brevis

Antagonist:  Abductor Digiti Minimi, Palmaris Brevis, Flexor Digiti Minimi, Opponens Digiti Minimi

For pain and symptom information see: Adductor Pollicis Pain and Symptoms




Primary Actions of the Adductor Pollicis:

1. Radial adduction of the thumb at the trapeziometacarpal joint

  • Agonists: None
  • Antagonists: Abductor Pollicis Longus

Secondary Actions of the Adductor Pollicis:

2. Palmar adduction and rotation of the thumb at the trapeziometacarpal joint

  • Agonists:  None
  • Antagonists:  Abductor Pollicis Longus

3. Flexion of the thumb at the carpometacarpal joint

  • Agonists:  Opponens Pollicis, Flexor Pollicis Longus, Flexor Pollicis Brevis
  • Antagonists:  Abductor Pollicis Longus, Extensor Pollicis Brevis

Human Muscle Anatomy

Musculoskeletal Anatomy Flashcards Musculoskeletal Flashcards Are you a student or professional therapist who needs to brush up on the musculoskeletal system? Dr. Joseph E. Muscolino DC has developed a comprehensive set of flashcards that will help develop a mind’s picture of exactly where the muscles lie under the skin. A highly recommended study aid for students. Great for non students who want an easy comprehensive anatomy guide.


Human Anatomy Coloring Book


The Anatomy Coloring Book is one of the best study and reference books for beginning anatomy students. The diagrams are clearly labeled and allow you to see the relationship and placement of the various structures of the body. You will also be surprised how the act of coloring will help with recall. But this is not just a beginners book, it is also great for practitioners and therapists to have on hand to use with clients and patients to use as a visual reference.



Out of the scores of books in my office Basic Clinical Massage Therapy is by far the most referenced book in my library. The musculoskeletal system is overlaid on human models allowing you to learn the precise location, origin and insertions of each muscle. The models are pictured in various poses throughout the book which also helps you visualize muscles in motion and their actions relationship with the skeletal structure and other muscles. Though it is written for massage therapists, it is an excellent book for anyone who wants to learn about the muscular system. MT’s will benefit from recommended treatments for each muscle.





The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook – Claire Davies, Amber Davies, and David G. Simons

Basic Clinical Massage Therapy: Integrating Anatomy and Treatment – James H. Clay and David M. Pounds

Trigger Point Therapy for Myofascial Pain – Donna Finando and Steven Finando

Massage Therapy Principles and Practice – Susan Salvo

Theory & Practice of Therapeutic Massage – Mark Beck