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Adductor Brevis Muscle: Groin, Thigh, and Hip Pain

(Last Updated On: September 2, 2018)

The adductor brevis muscle can contribute to groin pain, pain in the front of the thigh, hip joint and knee pain.

Adductor Brevis Muscle Pain: Signs and Symptoms

The adductor brevis and the adductor longus are separate muscles that ‌in effect act as one muscle. Trigger points and dysfunction in the adductor brevis and the adductor longus are one of the most common contributors to groin pain. Another common sign is a deep pain that is felt in the hip joint and decends down the front of the thigh to just above the knee. Occasionally the pain will go down into the shin.

Pain tends to intensify when twisting (rotating) the leg out. Moving your legs too far apart like a deep squat (abduction) or walking/running with an extended stride can cause a sharp pain in the groin and can cause the hip to lock. Carrying a heavy item will increase pain and discomfort.

Stiffness and restriction of movement in the hip and thigh are common. Adductor discomfort increases with activity and subsides when resting.

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?

It moves the leg toward the other leg (adduction), lifts the leg to the front of the body (flexion) and twists (rotates) the leg in toward the other leg.

Activities that cause adductor brevis pain and symptoms:

Movement that moves the legs to far apart like slipping on a slick floor or ice or over extending your stride while walking or running, are the most common actions that injure the adductor brevis. Likewise, using your thighs to squeeze in such as using a ThighMaster or horseback riding can overwork the muscle causing soreness and possible injury.

Football, basketball, ice hockey, and gymnast often injure or have adductor muscle pain. Horseback riders often have sore inner thighs due to using the adductor muscles to squeeze the side of the horse.

Adductor brevis origin, insertion, action, innervation

You use the adductor brevis muscle to move the thigh in toward the other leg and to twist the thigh inward.

Interesting facts about the adductor brevis:

  • 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.
  • "Growing pains" in the groin, pelvic area, and thigh in children can be caused by dysfunction in the adductor muscles.

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

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

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

Satellite trigger points associated with the adductor brevis:

  • Adductor Magnus
  • Pectineus
  • Vastus Medius

For detailed anatomy information:  Adductor Brevis Anatomy

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

Recommendations for Adductor Brevis Muscle and Groin Pain Pain Relief

Self Treat Trigger Points In The Adductor Brevis to Relieve Groin and Pelvic Pain

If you are experiencing the pain pattern of the adductor brevis muscle trigger points can be contributing or be the actual cause of your pain. If you have still have pain after an injury has had time to heal, it could be trigger points that often develop after an injury. You can learn to treat treat trigger points and relieve your pain.

The best resource to learn about about these painful 'knots' and how to treat them is The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook. The authors explain trigger points, the referred pain patterns, and how to treat them in language that is easy to comprehend and follow. I recommend this book to everyone. The methods work and give you a perspective of how your body connections work together and sometimes against each other.

Braces and Support For Adductor Brevis Muscle

If  you have recently injured the adductor muscles a supportive brace will help with healing and pain relief. The Odofit Support Brace is one of the best for groin and upper thigh pain. The support has three adjustable straps so you can adjust the support and compression to your needs. The top band not only helps keep the brace in place but also provides added support to the outside of the hip which is also affected by the adductor and other thigh muscles.

Compression Support For Post Injury and Maintenance

For prevention, maintenance and post injury support compression shorts are a good choice. The shorts support the entire adductor brevis (and adductor longus) muscle. They also provide support to the abs and hips. I use the CW-X Women's Compression Shorts and recommend them. For men the Mava Men’s Compression Shorts are recommended by my clients and friends.

Compression Thigh Sleeves For Adductor Brevis Support

Another choice for support are compression thigh sleeves. These are great for preventative measures and maintenance. I use the Sparthos Thigh Sleeves. They provide comfortable compression and don't roll up or down like many other sleeves that I have tried.

Hot /Cold Pack For Adductor Brevis Strain

Applying cold and warm therapy to injured and sore muscles can not only reduce pain but can also aid with healing. The groin muscles can be difficult to treat because of their location. The Body Help Hip Brace With Hot/Cold Pac works great for treatment of the adductors and other groin muscles. It comes with a hot/cold pack that can be placed where treatment is needed. If you have problems with groin and thigh pain this is a great to have for quick and easy treatments.

Warm and Cold Therapy Gels

Warm and cold therapy gels/creams should be in your treatment plan. They can help with healing and most of all relieve pain. The two I use both with my clients and my family are BioFreeze Cold Gel and Sombra Warming Gel.

BioFreeze Cold Gel is the best to use on recent injuries and areas that are swollen. BioFreeze works like ice in that it cools the area like ice and works to decrease inflammation. It also works very well for pain relief.

Sombra Warming Gel  is great for post injury and sore muscles. It warms the area and helps to promote circulation aiding with pain relief and healing. It provides warmth without the uncomfortable burn of other heating products and I believe it relieves pain better and the relieve last for a longer amount of time. I recommend Sombra for chronic pain, general soreness, and arthritis.

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