Adductor longus trigger point pain is most often felt in the groin and may also cause stiffness in the hip. The pain may descend the inside of the thigh, with concentrated pain on the inside of the knee. The pain occasionally travels down into the shin.

A muscle strain can cause pain anywhere along the length of the muscle that attaches to the pubic bone and runs diagonally to connect to the middle of the thigh bone (femur). If you strain the muscle, you will feel pain in the groin and the inside of the upper to mid-thigh. The pain will be most noticeable where the tear has occurred.

Contents of Article

    Where Is The Adductor Longus Muscle?

    Adductor Longus Muscle Showing Trigger Point Locations

    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 Longus Muscle Anatomy.

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


    Adductor Longus Muscle Trigger Points Symptoms:

    Adductor Longus Referred Pain Pattern

    Adductor longus trigger point pain is not as sharp as strain pain. The pain is more of a nagging ache that originates in the groin or inside of the thigh. The symptoms are:

    • Groin pain during activity, the pain subsides with rest
    • Pain in the front of the outer upper thigh near the hip joint
    • Deep pain in the hip joint
    • Restricted movement in the hip and thigh
    • Stiffness in the hip, especially when rotating the knee outward
    • Pain above and toward the inside of the knee
    • Pain can descend into the shin
    • Pain increases when carrying something

    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. Highly recommended for upper leg muscle 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. Works well for knee pain attributed to adductor longus trigger points.

    What Causes Trigger Points To Develop In The Adductor Longus?

    • Moving legs too far apart horizontally or vertically
    • Sitting with legs crossed for long periods of time
    • Horseback riding
    • Slipping on slippery surfaces

    Trigger points often develop due to a strain or other injuries to the lower back, hip, and leg.

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    The Sparthos Thigh Compression Sleeve provides compression and support for the hamstring, quadriceps, and adductor 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 Longus

    • Take time to warm up before exercise and other strenuous activities.
    • Don’t sit with your legs crossed at the knees for long periods. Alternate sitting with your legs down and feet firmly on the ground.
    • Don’t sit with your legs propped up in a recliner or on an ottoman for hours. Get up stretch out, and walk around.
    • Be careful and don’t slip walking on slick surfaces.
    • Hip surgery 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)

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

    Adductor Longus Trigger Point Treatment

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

    Another option is to learn to self-treatment. Trigger point therapy works best when the trigger points are treated two or three times a day for 1-2 minutes per treatment. The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook is an excellent resource to learn this therapy. It takes practice to find the trigger points, but once you learn, you will relieve and eliminate muscle pain throughout the body.

    TWD Recommends

    Compression shorts provide support and compress the thigh muscles, 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?

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

    Interesting facts:

    • Trigger points in the adductor longus are the most common cause of groin pain.
    • 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 longus pain and symptoms can be similar to, contribute to, and be affected by these medical diagnoses:

    • Groin pull
    • Peroneal nerve entrapment
    • Lateral compartment syndrome
    • Morton's foot
    • Ankle sprain or strain
    • Obturator or Genitofemoral nerve entrapment
    • Pubic stress fracture
    • Pubic stress symphysis
    • L2 L3 or L4 radiculopathy
    • S1 neuropathy
    • Gout


    Other muscles that should be considered and examined:

    Satellite trigger points associated with the adductor longus muscle:

    Trigger points often produce other TrPs in other muscles, which are known as satellite trigger points. If trigger points are found in the adductor longus, check these muscles:

    • Adductor Magnus
    • Pectineus
    • Adductor Brevis
    • 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 an excellent choice for treating quadriceps and hamstrings muscle pain.

    Adductor Longus Strain

    Adductor longus strain pain is felt immediately. The pain is sharp and localized in the groin or inside of the upper thigh.
    Muscle strains are graded by the number of muscle or tendon fibers that tear during the injury.

    A mild strain (Grade I) is the result of a few tears in the fibers. There is a sharp pain or sudden ache when the fibers tear. You may be able to continue your activities with only mild discomfort.

    Moderate strains (Grade II) occur when a large number of fibers tear. The pain is sudden, sharp, and will make you stop all activity immediately. Your normal daily activities are affected by pain and stiffness.

    Severe strains (Grade III) happen when most or all of the fibers in a muscle tear. The pain is immediate, excruciating, and debilitating. You may not be able to put any weight on the affected leg. Daily activities are limited due to pain.

    Symptoms of an Adductor Longus Strain:

    • A pop and/or tearing sensation is felt in the groin or inside the upper thigh.
    • The pain is sharp and immediate.
    • Moving the leg causes pain in the hip, thigh, or knee.
    • Walking is painful and will cause you to limp. It may be impossible to put weight on the leg if the strain is moderate or severe.
    • Redness and bruising are evident on the inside of the thigh.
    • Swelling is apparent soon after the injury if it is a moderate or severe strain.

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    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. One of the best for moderate and severe thigh and groin pain and injury.

    What Causes Adductor Longus Strains?

    Adductor longus strains occur when the legs are forcefully separated side to side or front to back. Some examples are:

    • Rapid acceleration when running
    • Jumping
    • Slipping on a slippery surface
    • Executing a hard pivot or turn with a foot planted
    • Kickers in soccer and football
    • Splits stretch and pull the muscle, often causing tears

    Sports and activities that contribute to adductor longus injury:

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

    Adductor Longus Strain Treatments

    The majority of adductor longus strains are mild and moderate and can be safely treated at home using the P. R.I.C.E. protocol.

    • Protect – Restrict movement and limit putting weight on the leg.
    • Rest – Extra rest is needed during the healing process. Limit activities and get extra sleep to jump-start healing.
    • Ice – Ice packs should be used every 1-2 hours until redness, swelling, and pain decrease. Leave the ice in place for 20 minutes per treatment as longer times may damage soft tissues.
    • Compression – Moderate pressure applied to the injured area provides support and discourages swelling.
    • Elevation – Keeping the leg and hip propped up on pillows helps reduce swelling, pain and inhibits excess fluids from building in the area.

    Once swelling, heat, and redness have diminished, 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:

    • 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. A great 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. The brace provides warmth for muscle relaxation.

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

    • Mild Grade I strains heal quickly, usually within 1-3 weeks. You can 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.

    Tips To Avoid Adductor Longus Strains

    • Taking time to warm up properly can save days, weeks, and months of pain, discomfort, and downtime.
    • When using weights or picking up a heavy item make sure your feet are firmly planted on the ground and aligned with your shoulders.
    • If the muscle feels weak, sore, or is injured, take recovery days to rest and allow the muscle time to heal.
    • Take recovery days after exercise and sports. Give the muscles time to rest and recover.
    • Be careful on slick and icy surfaces. Wear the right footwear for inclement weather, sports, and surface conditions.

    Muscles With Similar Pain Patterns

    Adductor Brevis
    Adductor Magnus
    Gracilis Muscle
    Pectineus Muscle