Adductor Magnus Muscle: Groin, Pelvic and Thigh Pain

Adductor Magnus Strain and Trigger Point Pain: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

Contents of Article:

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 The Adductor Magnus Muscle 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 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 an ache, a slight pulling sensation, to excruciating and debilitating.

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

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
  • Intercourse is painful for women
  • Pain during bowel movements
  • Pain in the bladder
  • Men experience prostrate symptoms
  • Sleeping on the affected side is painful

What Causes Trigger Points To Develop In The Adductor Magnus Muscle?

  • 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.


Adductor Magnus Pain Pattern: Deep aching in the groin and pelvis areas that sometimes includes a sharp stabbing pain. Pain in the front and/or back of the thigh that radiates over to the hip joint and/or down to the knee are other signs of muscle tightness, trigger points, and muscle strain.

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

  • 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 of time.
  • When sitting with your legs or feet supported by an ottoman, footstool, or recliner, take a break and 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.

Adductor Magnus Trigger Point Treatment

Many massage therapist, physical therapist, and chiropractors can show you how to find and treat your trigger points. Not all have 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 learn the techniques to self-treat 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?

It depends on the trigger point(s), but there is often 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.

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

Satellite trigger points associated with the adductor magnus muscle:

Interesting facts about the adductor magnus muscle:

  • 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 urinary tract and gynecological dysfunction.

Adductor Magnus Muscle Pain and Symptoms Can Be Similar To, Contribute To, and Be Affected By These Medical diagnoses:

  • Groin pull
  • Obturator or Genitofemoral nerve entrapment
  • Inguinal Hernia
  • L2 L3 or L4 radiculopathy
  • Iliac or femoral thrombosis
  • Pubic stress fracture
  • Prolapsed Uterus
  • Endometriosis
  • Ovarian Cyst
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Constipation
  • UTI and bladder infection
  • Prostrate pain


Adductor Magnus Muscle Strain Pain

The pain caused by an adductor magnus strain is sharp and felt immediately upon injury. A mild strain is can be sharp initially but may be 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 very painful and you may not be able to put weight on the affected leg.

Some of the signs of an adductor strain are:

  • Popping or tearing sensation is sometimes felt at the point of injury
  • Sharp shooting pain is felt instantly in the thigh, groin, and/or 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
Muscle man lunging

Movements such as lunging, splits, climbing, sprinting, and quick direction turns can strain and contribute to the development of trigger points in the adductor magnus muscle.

What Causes An Adductor Magnus Strain?

Quick acceleration while running and quick turns, pivots, and changes of direction 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 ie. 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 Treatment

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 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 cold treatment for 20 minutes then 1-2 hours later apply a warm treatment. Alternate treatments throughout the day.

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 Magnus Strain To Heal?

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

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

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

TWD Suggestions For Adductor Magnus 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.

Buy At Amazon

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 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.

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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