Adductor Longus Muscle: Groin, Thigh, Hip Joint, Knee Pain

Contents of Article:

Where Is The Adductor Longus Muscle?

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


What Movements Does The Adductor Longus 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 Brevis Muscle

For detailed anatomy information:  Adductor Longus Muscle Anatomy

Adductor Longus Muscle Pain

Adductor longus muscle pain can be felt in the groin, hip area, thigh, knee and occasionally the shin.

A muscle strain can cause pain anywhere along the length of the muscle which attaches the pubic bone and runs diagonally to attach 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. Pain will be especially pronounced where the tear has occurred.

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

Adductor Longus pain pattern

Adductor Longus Pain Pattern: Contributes to groin, front of the thigh, hip joint, and knee pain.

Adductor Longus Trigger Points Signs and Symptoms

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 signs 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 down into the shin
  • Pain is greater when carrying something

What Activities Contribute To Trigger Points 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 as a result of a strain or other injury.

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

  • Take time to warm up before exercise and other strenuous activities.
  • Don’t sit with your legs crossed at the knees for long periods of time. 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.

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 be able to relieve and eliminate muscle pain throughout the body.

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 longus muscle:

Satellite trigger points associated with the adductor longus muscle:

Interesting facts about the adductor longus muscle:

  • 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 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 Longus Muscle Strain Pain

Adductor longus strains are felt immediately. The pain is sharp and localized in the groin or inside of the upper thigh.

Muscle strains are graded by the amount of muscle or tendon fibers that are torn 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 activity immediately. Your normal daily activities may be 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.

Signs and symptoms include:

  • A pop and/or tearing sensation is felt in the groin or on the inside of 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 is evident on the inside of the thigh
  • Swelling is apparent soon after the injury if it is a moderate or severe strain
Muscle Man Long Jumping

Sprinters, hurdlers, long jumpers, and other athletes are susceptible to adductor longus strains and the development of trigger points

What Causes Adductor Longus Strain Injury?

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 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 Treatment

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

  • Protect – Restrict movement and avoid putting weight on the leg. Ace bandages or Velcroed wraps can be used to stabilize the injured area.
  • Rest – It is important to not only rest the injury but to also get extra sleep. It is while you are asleep that much of the healing processes occur.
  • Ice – Ice packs should be used every 1-2 hours until redness, swelling, and pain decrease. Leave ice in place for 20 minutes per treatment, longer times may damage soft tissues.
  • Compression – Moderate pressure applied to the injured area provides support and discourages swelling
  • Elevation – Keeping the leg 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

How Long Does It Take An Adductor Longus 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 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.

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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