Adductor Brevis Muscle: Groin, Thigh, and Hip Pain

Contents of Article:

Where Is The Adductor Brevis Muscle?

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


What Movements Does The Adductor Brevis Muscle 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


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

For detailed anatomy information:  Adductor Brevis Muscle Anatomy

Adductor Brevis Muscle Pain

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

The pain is caused by a muscle strain,  tightness in the muscle, or the development of trigger points. Though strains and trigger points share common symptoms, there are differences that can affect treatment choices.

Adductor longus referred pain pattern

Adductor Brevis Pain Pattern: Contributes to groin pain, deep pain in the hip, pain in the front of the thigh that descends down to the knee and occasionally the shin.

What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Adductor Brevis Trigger Points?

Adductor brevis trigger point pain is usually not sharp. The pain is more of a nagging ache that feels like it originates in the groin or inside of the thigh. The signs are:

  • Pain in the groin and/or hip joint during activity but the pain subsides with rest
  • Pain in the hip joint that goes down into the thigh
  • Pain that feels like it originates in the hip joint
  • Loss of range of motion in the hip and thigh
  • Pain and stiffness when twisting the leg outward
  • Pain above the knee
  • Pain occasionally runs down into the shin

What Activities Contribute To Trigger Points 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 injury.

How To Avoid Development of Trigger Points In The Adductor Brevis Muscle

  • 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 of time.
  • 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.

Adductor Brevis Trigger Point Treatment

It is recommended that you learn to treat trigger points as trigger point therapy works best when treatments are done two to three times a day. Each treatment takes approximately 1-2 minutes. The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook is an excellent guide to learn this therapy. It takes time and some practice but once learned, you can learn the techniques to self-treat muscle pain throughout the body.

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 points so be sure and ask before making an appointment.

TWD Suggestions For Adductor Trigger Points

The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook is the best resource to learn how to treat and manage your muscle pain. Learn the methods and have the knowledge to relieve muscle pain throughout the body.

Buy at Amazon

Sombra Warm Therapy Pain Relieving Gel is highly recommended for trigger point and chronic pain relief. It relaxes the muscles without the burning heat of other creams. (not sold in stores)

Buy at Amazon

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 Short are two that work well for the adductor longus muscle.

Mens Womens

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 injury and chronic pain sufferers.

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How Long Before I Feel A Reduction In Pain?

There is often an improvement in 2-5 days depending on the density and number of trigger points. Consistency is important, you must continue treatment until the symptoms subside and you can no longer feel the trigger point.

Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the adductor brevis muscle:

Satellite trigger points associated with the adductor brevis muscle:

Due to similar muscle attachments and movement control also read: Adductor Longus Muscle: Groin, Thigh, Hip, Knee Pain

Interesting facts about the adductor brevis muscle:

  • 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. Pain is felt in the groin, pelvic area, and or inner thigh.

Adductor Brevis Muscle 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


Adductor Brevis Muscle Strain Pain

A muscle strain is felt instantly. It can be a sharp stabbing pain or sudden deep ache in the groin or on the inside of the upper thigh.

A Grade I or mild strain happens 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 activities, but usually, you can resume after a short rest but there will be some discomfort.

Grade II or moderate strains happen when a large number of muscles 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.

Signs and symptoms include:

  • 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
Muscle man falling

Slipping on ice or slippery surfaces is a primary cause of adductor brevis strains and trigger points.

What Causes Adductor Brevis Strain Injury?

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 Treatment

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

  • Protect – Keep the leg still and avoid putting weight on the leg. Velcro wraps or elastic bandages can be used to stabilize the upper part of 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.
  • 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.

When to see a doctor:

  • Unbearable pain level
  • Excessive swelling and bruising
  • Inability to move leg without extreme pain
  • Unable to put weight on the leg
  • Pain, swelling, redness, and heat have not decreased in 24 hours

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

  • Mild Grade I strains heal quickly usually within 1-3 weeks. You are able to continue with most of your daily activities though there may be some discomfort.
  • Moderate Grade II strains vary depending on the number of fibers torn. Most heal in 4-12 weeks and will have a negative impact on some of your daily activities due to pain and stiffness.
  • Severe Grade III strains often require medical attention and can take anywhere from 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.

TWD Suggestions For Adductor Longus Strains

The Simple Spectra Clay Hot/Cold Wrap can be placed and secured high on the thigh, providing hot or cold treatment as well as compression which is important for recovery. The wrap can also be used on other areas of the body.

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Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel cools the area much like ice discouraging inflammation. Provides excellent pain relief between cold treatments. Recommended by medical professionals and trainers.

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The Odofit Support Brace has 3 adjustable straps that allow you to adjust the compression to your needs.  The waistband holds the brace in place. One of the best for moderate and severe thigh and groin pain and injury.

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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.

More Pain Relief and Support Suggestions from TWD:

The products listed below are products that I use and highly recommend to my clients and customers. If you regularly work out, run, bike, or hike, and have problems with thigh and groin pain, these products provide relief and allow you to enjoy your activities.

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. Works well for knee pain attributed to adductor longus trigger points.

If you are an athlete or exercise aficionado the Freeze Sleeve provides excellent cold compression treatments for thigh and knees. Keep on hand for post sports and exercise treatments.

Penetrex was formulated specifically to reduce inflammation. If you have strained a muscle and have swelling this is the cream to use. Also works well on joint inflammation caused by arthritis. Read and follow directions for best results.

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

The Trigger Point Therapy for Myofascial Pain is a book geared more toward professionals that understand medical terms. Excellent diagrams and information.

Upper body injury? Limited strength in arms or hands? The Tiger Tail Roller is made to help you keep your muscles rolled out and trigger point free.

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