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Adductor Brevis Muscle: Groin, Thigh, and Hip Pain

Trigger points in the adductor brevis contribute to pain in the groin, deep in the hip joint, and pain in the front of the thigh that sometimes descends to the knee. The pain occasionally goes down into the shin.

A muscle strain can cause pain anywhere in the muscle. The pain will be most noticeable where the injury occurred. Though strains and trigger points share common symptoms, the differences between trigger points and strains affect treatment choices.

Contents of Article
    Adductor Brevis Muscle Showing Trigger Point Locations

    Where Is The Adductor Brevis Muscle?

    It connects the pelvis (pubis) to the thigh bone (linea aspera of the femur).

    What Movements Does It Control?

    • Moves leg in toward the body
    • Twists the leg in toward the body via the hip
    • Assists in lifting the leg in front of the body

    For detailed anatomy information see:  Adductor Brevis Muscle Anatomy.

    Due to similar muscle attachments and movement control also read about the Adductor Longus Muscle.


    Adductor Brevis Muscle Trigger Points Symptoms:

    Adductor Brevis Referred Pain

    Adductor brevis trigger point pain is an unrelenting ache in the groin or inside of the thigh. Stiffness in the hip is a common complaint. Depending on the trigger points(s) location, the pain may go down into the knee and the shin.


    • Pain in the groin pain while you are active. The pain decreases when you are at rest.
    • Pain in the upper thigh near the hip joint
    • Pain deep in the hip joint
    • Stiffness and limited movement in the hip and thigh
    • Stiffness in the hip is noticed when twisting (rotating the knee out away from the body)
    • Pain at the top of the knee that goes down to the inside of the knee
    • Pain occasionally travels down into the shin
    • Pain increases when carrying a moderately heavy item

    TWD Recommends

    The ComfiLife Knee Pillow was developed for side sleepers to keep your leg aligned with your hip and spine, decreasing your pain while you sleep. Recommended for lower back, hip, and upper leg pain.

    The Professional Choice Knee Brace is one of the best on the market. Comfortable to wear, and it provides support without binding. The brace helps hold the kneecap in place, stabilizing the joint. The brace works well for knee pain attributed to trigger points in the adductor muscles.

    What Causes Trigger Points To Develop In The Adductor Brevis?

    • A movement that spreads the legs too far apart like slipping on a slick floor or ice
    • Sitting with legs crossed at the knees for extended periods of time
    • Horseback riding

    Note: Trigger points often develop as a result of a strain or other injuries to the leg, hip, or lower back.

    TWD Recommends

    The Sparthos Thigh Compression Sleeve provides compression and support for the adductor, hamstring, and quad muscles. It stays in place, it does not slide down, the top doesn’t roll down, and the bottom does not roll up during movement.

    How To Avoid Development of Trigger Points In The Adductor Brevis

    • Be extra vigilant on slick and icy surfaces. Don't slip, don't fall!
    • Warm-up before exercise and other strenuous activities.
    • Break the habit of sitting with your legs crossed at the knees for long periods.
    • Stop sitting with your legs up supported by a recliner or ottoman for hours at a time. Get up and move. Drop the footrest so your legs are down and your feet are on the floor.
    • Hip surgery, especially hip replacement, affects the muscles of the groin and upper thigh. Talk to your doctor and physical therapist about pain, stiffness, and other sensations you may be feeling.

    Sombra Warm Therapy Gel is recommended for relaxing muscles and relieving pain. It warms without the burning heat of other gels. An excellent choice for pain caused by trigger points, muscle/joint over-use and stiffness, and arthritis. (Not sold in stores)

    Medical professionals and trainers recommend Biofreeze Professional Gel for the pain and symptoms of muscle strains. It provides excellent pain relief and may help reduce inflammation caused by a strain.

    Adductor Brevis Trigger Point Treatment

    Treating adductor trigger points is easy to learn. The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook is an excellent guide to learn this therapy. It takes time and practice, but once you learn how to find trigger points, you can use the techniques to self-treat muscle pain throughout the body.

    Trigger points respond best when treatments are applied several times a day. Each treatment takes approximately 1-2 minutes.

    Physical therapists, massage therapists, and chiropractors with training in trigger point therapy can show you how to find and treat trigger points. Not all have training in trigger point therapy, so be sure and ask before making an appointment.

    TWD Recommends

    Compression shorts provide support and pressure, which can help relieve both strain and trigger point pain. The CW-X Women’s Mid Rise Stabilyx and the Men’s Mava Men’s Compression Shorts are two that work well for the adductor muscles.

    How Long Before I Feel A Reduction In Pain?

    Most people notice a reduction in pain and stiffness in 2-5 days. You should continue the treatment until the symptoms subside and you can no longer feel the trigger point.

    Interesting facts:

    • Because of the common attachment to the pubic bone and it's attachment to the adductor longus muscle, the pain pattern of the adductor brevis is the same as the adductor longus.  Both muscles are treated simultaneously.
    • If you are diagnosed with osteoarthritis in the hip joint treating trigger points in the adductor longus and adductor brevis may help relieve pain.
    • Trigger points in the adductor muscles can cause "growing pains" in children. They will complain of pain in the groin, pelvic area, and or inner thigh.

    Adductor brevis pain and symptoms can be similar to, contribute to, and be affected by these medical diagnoses:

    • Groin pull
    • Floating patella
    • Obturator or Genitofemoral nerve entrapment
    • Pubic stress fracture
    • Pubic stress symphysis
    • L2 L3 or L4 radiculopathy
    • Inguinal hernia
    • Coxa Plana


    Other muscles that should be considered and examined:

    Satellite trigger points associated with the adductor brevis muscle:

    If trigger points are found in the adductor brevis, check these muscles:

    • Adductor Magnus
    • Pectineus
    • Adductor Longus
    • Vastus Medius

    TWD Recommends

    Doctors and physical therapists often recommend TENS to relax the muscles and ease the pain. The Belifu TENS Unit Muscle Stimulator is highly recommended and a great choice for treating adductor, quadriceps, and hamstrings muscle pain.

    Adductor Brevis Strain

    If you strain the adductor brevis muscle, you will feel pain immediately. The pain may be a sharp stabbing pain or sudden deep ache in the groin or on the inside of the upper thigh.

    Grade I or mild strains occur when there is tearing of a few muscle fibers. The pain can be sharp but is usually a sudden deep ache. A mild strain may cause you to stop what you are doing, but usually, you can resume the activity after a short rest. However, there will be some discomfort.

    Grade II or moderate strains happen when a large number of muscle fibers tear. The pain is instantly sharp and will make you stop whatever activity immediately.

    Grade III or severe strains occur when most or all of the muscle fibers tear. The pain is instant, excruciating, and makes you stop all activity. Moving the leg and putting weight on the leg may be impossible.

    Symptoms of an Adductor Brevis Strain:

    • Tearing and/or popping sensation of the muscle is felt in the groin and/or inside of the thigh
    • Sharp or deep aching pain is felt
    • Moving the leg at the hip is very painful
    • Bringing the legs together is painful
    • You may have a noticeable limp when walking. If the strain is moderate to severe, you may not be able to put weight on the leg.
    • Redness and bruising is evident on the inside of the thigh
    • Swelling is noticeable soon after the injury

    TWD Recommends

    The Odofit Support Brace has three adjustable straps that allow you to adjust the compression to your needs. The waistband holds the brace in place. It is one of the best for moderate and severe thigh and groin pain and injury.

    What Causes Adductor Brevis Strains?

    Adductor brevis strains happen when the legs are spread either side to side or front to back beyond the muscle's ability to stretch. Some examples are:

    • Slipping on an icy or slick surface
    • Splits often stretch the muscle past its ability causing fiber tears
    • Verticle and long jumping
    • Quick hard pivots or turns with a foot planted
    • Football and soccer kicks
    • Rapid acceleration when running

    Sports and activities that contribute to adductor brevis injury:

    • Skiing
    • Running
    • Hockey
    • Soccer
    • Football
    • Gymnastics
    • Basketball
    • Dancing

    Adductor Brevis Strain Treatments

    Most adductor muscle strains respond well to home treatment using the P.R.I.C.E. protocol. The protocol should start as soon as possible to reduce pain and inflammation.

    • Protect - Keep the leg still and avoid putting weight on the leg.
    • Rest - This not only applies to the leg but also getting extra sleep. Healing takes place during rest and more so while you sleep.
    • Ice - Ice packs should be used for 20 minutes every 1-2 hours until redness, swelling, and pain decrease.
    • Compression - A compression wrap applied to the area discourages inflammation and provides support. Use Velcro wraps or elastic bandages to stabilize the upper part of the leg and apply moderate pressure to the adductor muscles.
    • Elevation - Use pillows to prop up the leg to decrease swelling, pain and to inhibit excess fluids from building in the area.

    When the heat, redness, and swelling decrease, begin alternating cold and heat treatments. Use cold for a 20-minute treatment, then wait 1-2 hours and apply heat for 20 minutes. Do not apply warm and cold treatments back to back; always wait at least an hour between treatments.

    When to see a doctor:

    • Intolerable pain levels
    • Rapid and excessive swelling and bruising
    • You are not able to move the leg or unable to put weight on the leg
    • Swelling, pain, redness, and heat have not lessened within 24-48 hours

    TWD Recommends

    TheraICE Rx Hot & Cold Therapy provides 360 degree cold and warm therapy. The sleeve provides compression, which helps reduce inflammation and pain. An excellent choice for adductor and trigger point pain treatments.

    The Vive Thigh Brace is another choice for thigh muscle support and compression. The brace is adjustable and stays up on the leg well. Provides warmth for muscle relaxation.

    How Long Does It Take An Adductor Brevis Strain To Heal?

    • Grade I strains usually heal quickly, within 1-3 weeks. You may experience some discomfort, but your daily activities are not significantly impacted.
    • Grade II strains healing times vary depending on the number of fibers torn, 4-12 weeks is the average healing time. Moderate strains will have a negative impact on some of your daily activities due to pain and stiffness.
    • Grade III strains require medical attention. Severe strains can take a few months up to a year to heal. All daily activities are affected due to pain and the possible inability to put weight on the leg.

    Tips To Avoid Adductor Brevis Strains

    • Warm-up! Taking a few minutes to stretch and warm up can ward off weeks and months of pain and downtime.
    • Whether lifting weights or picking up a heavy object, make sure your feet are firmly planted and use proper lifting techniques.
    • Muscle weakness and soreness is a sign of overuse. Take a few days off to allow recovery.
    • If you participate in sports and regular exercise, be sure to take recovery days. Give the muscles time to rest and recover.
    • Wear the proper footwear for inclement weather, sports, and surface conditions. Be careful on slippery and icy surfaces.