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Adductor Magnus Pain: Groin, Pelvic and Thigh Pain

The adductor magnus muscle contributes to pain in the groin, pelvic area, hip, and thigh.

Trigger point pain can be sharp, but it is most often a dull, unrelenting ache. Pain and discomfort usually increase over time.

In contrast, if you strain the muscle, pain and discomfort are felt the moment the strain occurs. The pain can range from aching, a slight pulling sensation, to excruciating and debilitating.

Contents of Article
    Adductor Magnus Muscle Showing Trigger Points Locations

    Where Is The Adductor Magnus Muscle?

    It attaches to the pelvis via the pubis bone, the ischium, and the ischial tuberosity. The muscle divides into three parts and connects to the back of the thigh bone (femur).

    What Movements Does It Control?

    • Moves leg in toward the body (adduction)
    • Twists the leg inward (rotation)
    • Straightens the leg at the hip (extension)

    Looking for detailed muscle anatomy? Go to the  Adductor Magnus Muscle Anatomy page.


    Adductor Magnus Muscle Trigger Points Symptoms:

    Adductor Magnus Referred Pain Pattern

    Trigger point pain in the adductor magnus pain can be sharp but is usually more of aching pain. Some people experience burning pain. Deep aching pain in the pelvis and groin area can be an indicator of adductor magnus trigger points.


    • Pain in the front and/or back of the thigh
    • Pain sometimes radiates toward the hip joint
    • Pain can radiate down to the knee
    • Stiffness in the hip and knee
    • Deep aching and sharp pain in the pelvis
    • Pain during bowel movements
    • Pain in the bladder
    • Men experience prostate symptoms
    • Women experience an aching, sharp, or burning pain in the vagina
    • Intercourse is painful for women
    • Sleeping on the affected side is painful

    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 adductor 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. The brace works well for knee pain attributed to adductor magnus trigger points.

    What Causes Trigger Points To Develop In The Adductor Magnus?

    • Sudden acceleration when running
    • Climbing or running stairs
    • Hard pivots, turns, and changes of direction with one foot planted
    • Spreading your legs too far apart either side to side or front to back
    • Slipping on icy or slick surfaces
    • Riding horses
    • Sitting with your legs crossed at the knees
    • Sitting with your legs propped up on an ottoman or in a recliner

    Note: Trigger points often develop as a result of a strain or other injury.

    TWD Recommends

    The Sparthos Thigh Compression Sleeve provides compression as well as support for the thigh 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 Magnus

    • Take a few minutes and warm up before sports, exercise, and other strenuous activities.
    • Be extra vigilant on slick and icy surfaces. Don’t slip, don’t fall!
    • Don’t sit with your legs crossed at the knees for long periods.
    • When sitting with your legs or feet supported by an ottoman, footstool, or recliner, take a break, drop your legs, and put both feet on the ground. Get up, walk, and stretch to give the muscles a rest and keep your circulation moving.
    • 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)

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

    Adductor Magnus Trigger Point Treatment

    Many massage therapists, physical therapists, and chiropractors can show you how to find and treat your trigger points. Not all have TrP training, so be sure to ask before making an appointment.

    I recommend that you learn to treat your 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 use the techniques to self-treat muscle pain throughout the body.

    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?

    It depends on the trigger point(s), but there is often an improvement in 2-5 days. You will notice that you are moving better, your range of motion is improving, and the pain has decreased. Treatment consistency is the key to optimal results.

    Interesting facts:

    • The adductor magnus is the third-largest muscle in the body
    • Trigger points in the adductor magnus can cause pain deep in the pelvic area. Pain may present as a dull ache or a sharp stabbing pain. Those suffering from adductor magnus symptoms often sleep with a pillow in between the knees to ease the pain
    • Trigger points in the adductor magnus muscle mimic many symptoms of a urinary tract infection and gynecological dysfunction.

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

    • Groin pull
    • Sciatica
    • Inguinal Hernia
    • L2 L3 or L4 radiculopathy
    • Iliac or femoral thrombosis
    • Coxa plana
    • Pubic stress fracture
    • Pubic stress symphysitis
    • Prolasped uterus
    • Endometriosis
    • Ovarian Cyst
    • Hemorrhoids
    • Constipation
    • UTI and bladder infection
    • Prostate pain


    Other muscles that should be considered and examined:

    Satellite trigger points associated with the adductor magnus muscle:

    If trigger points are found in the adductor magnus check these muscles for additional TrPs:

    • Adductor longus
    • Adductor brevis
    • Vastus medialis
    • Gracilis
    • Pectineus

    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 upper leg pain.

    Adductor Magnus Strain

    The pain caused by an adductor magnus strain is sharp and felt immediately upon injury. If you suffer a mild strain, the pain may be intense initially, but it is usually more of a deep ache. Depending on the intensity of the pain, you may be able to resume activity though there will be discomfort.

    If you suffer a moderate to severe strain, the pain is usually sharp and can be debilitating. Movement of the leg, groin and pelvic area will be painful-you may not be able to put weight on the affected leg.

    Symptoms of an Adductor Magnus Strain:

    • Popping or tearing sensation is sometimes felt at the point of injury
    • Sharp shooting pain is felt instantly in the thigh, groin, and pelvic areas
    • Moving the upper leg is painful
    • Spreading the legs apart causes pain
    • Walking and putting weight on the leg is painful. If the strain is severe putting weight on the leg may be impossible.
    • Swelling and bruising occurs around the injured area
    • Pain increases when you bend the knee and lift it toward your chest

    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 Magnus Strains?

    Quick acceleration while running and quick turns, pivots, and direction changes are the most common cause of adductor magnus strains. Other contributors are:

    • Slipping on a slippery surface when your legs separate side to side or one leg raises forcefully up toward your head
    • Planting a foot and executing a hard pivot or turn
    • Running and slipping
    • Kicking a ball, i.e., football, and soccer
    • Running and launching into a jump
    • Splits stretch and pull the muscle, often causing tears

    Sports and activities that contribute to strains:

    • Runners especially sprinters
    • Power Walkers
    • Gymnasts
    • Hockey
    • Soccer
    • Football
    • Basketball
    • Volleyball

    Adductor Magnus Strain Treatments

    Most mild and moderate strains do not require medical help and can be treated at home using the P.R.I.C.E. protocol. The protocol should be started as soon as possible to reduce pain and inflammation.

    • Protect the injury – Stabilize the injured area with an elastic bandage or Velcro wrap, limit movement, and weight-bearing.
    • Rest – This includes getting extra sleep as well as resting the leg. It is during rest and sleep that the healing process is optimized.
    • Ice – Use cold wraps or ice packs for 20 minutes per treatment every 1-2 hours until swelling, bruising, and redness subside. Cold treatments that last longer than 20 minutes are discouraged because soft tissue damage may occur.
    • Compression – To reduce swelling and provide support, use an elastic bandage or Velcro wrap to apply moderate pressure on the injury site.
    • Elevate – Use pillows and folded blankets to keep the leg elevated. It is important to spend time laying down with your leg slightly elevated above your heart to reduce swelling and aid circulation.

    Once the swelling, heat, and bruising begin to subside, it is time to alternate cold and warm treatments. Start with a cold pack for 20 minutes. One to two hours later, apply a warm treatment—alternate these treatments throughout the day.

    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. 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. Provides warmth for muscle relaxation.

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

    A mild Grade I adductor magnus strain can heal in 2-4 weeks. Most activity can resume in 3-7 days within your comfort level.

    Moderate Grade II strains can take a minimum of 6-8 weeks to heal fully. Activities can resume within your comfort level.

    A complete tear or Grade III strain may require surgery and take several months to a year to fully heal. Activity levels for Grade III should be monitored by a medical professional.

    Tips To Avoid Adductor Magnus Strains

    • Warm-up before sports, exercise, and strenuous activities. A few minutes of preparation can make a difference!
    • Do not stretch past muscle capacity.
    • Use proper technique when lifting weights or heavy items.
    • Wear proper footwear when walking on slick or icy surfaces and when participating in sports or exercise.
    • If muscle soreness sets in or you experience an injury, take a few days off to recover.

    Muscles with similar pain patterns

    Adductor Longus
    Adductor Brevis
    Gracilis Muscle
    Pectineus Muscle