Groin Adductor Strain Treatment

Groin adductor injuries, colloquially known as 'groin pulls', are a common affliction, especially among athletes.

While groin strains can be painful and inconvenient, understanding their causes, symptoms, and treatment methods can expedite recovery and prevent future injuries.

Understanding the Groin Adductor Muscles

The adductors are a group of muscles located on the inner thigh. They include the adductor brevis, adductor longus, adductor magnus, gracilis, and the pectineus. These muscles primarily function to pull the leg inwards—towards the midline of the body—and to stabilize the pelvis during activities like running or jumping.

Groin Adductor Strains: Causes and Symptoms

Groin adductor strains often occur when the muscles are overstretched or torn due to rapid changes in direction, sudden starts, or forceful movements, particularly in sports such as football, hockey, and basketball. However, anyone can experience a groin strain, not just athletes.

Symptoms of an adductor strain can vary depending on the severity but typically include:

  1. Sharp, sudden pain in the groin area during activity
  2. A popping or snapping sensation at the time of injury
  3. Continued pain or tenderness in the groin and inner thigh
  4. Decreased strength and mobility in the affected leg
  5. Bruising or swelling (in severe cases)

Assessment and Diagnosis

A professional assessment is crucial to diagnose a groin adductor strain accurately. The assessment may include a detailed history of the injury and a physical examination. The healthcare provider may evaluate your range of motion, strength, and pain during specific movements. In some cases, imaging tests like an MRI or ultrasound may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis and determine the extent of the injury.

Treatment: Rehabilitation and Soft Tissue Protocols

Rehabilitation for adductor strains involves several steps, focusing on reducing pain and inflammation, restoring mobility and strength, and gradually returning to normal activity.

Stage 1: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE)

During the initial phase, the RICE protocol is typically recommended to manage inflammation and pain. Rest is particularly important to allow the damaged tissues to heal.

Stage 2: Physical Therapy

Physical therapy usually begins once the acute pain has decreased. Exercises to improve flexibility, strength, and balance are introduced gradually. Initially, the exercises are gentle and low-intensity, progressively increasing as the healing progresses.

Stage 3: Soft Tissue Treatment

Manual therapies like massage can be beneficial in alleviating pain, promoting circulation, and improving flexibility. One prominent figure in this domain is Bob McAtee, a renowned sports massage therapist who has developed effective treatment protocols for adductor strains. His methods incorporate facilitated stretching and specific soft tissue techniques, significantly aiding in recovery.

Stage 4: Gradual Return to Activity

A gradual return to sport or activity is crucial to prevent re-injury. This phase should be guided by a healthcare provider or trainer who will ensure that the individual is ready to resume activities safely.


Preventing groin adductor injuries primarily involves regular conditioning of the muscles and maintaining flexibility and strength. Warm-ups and cool-downs before and after activities, respectively, are essential, and so is proper form and technique during activities. Regular exercises that strengthen the adductor muscles and the surrounding areas can also help reduce the risk of these injuries.


Groin adductor injuries can be a significant setback, particularly for athletes, but they don't have to be debilitating. With a better understanding of these injuries and appropriate professional guidance, recovery is entirely achievable. Remember, the 

importance of early diagnosis, proper treatment, and a comprehensive rehabilitation plan cannot be overstated. Whether you're an athlete or someone who has experienced a groin adductor strain, following the recommended steps can expedite healing and reduce the likelihood of future injuries.

By understanding the anatomy of the groin adductor muscles and recognizing the causes and symptoms of strains, individuals can take preventive measures to minimize the risk of injury. Additionally, seeking professional assessment and diagnosis is crucial for an accurate understanding of the severity and extent of the strain.

Rehabilitation and treatment protocols play a vital role in the recovery process. The initial phase focuses on rest, ice, compression, and elevation to manage pain and inflammation. As the healing progresses, physical therapy exercises are gradually introduced to improve flexibility, strength, and balance. Manual therapies, such as soft tissue treatment and facilitated stretching, can also aid in the recovery process.

Once the individual has regained strength and mobility, a gradual return to activity is recommended under the guidance of a healthcare provider or trainer. This step helps prevent re-injury and allows the individual to safely resume their regular activities.

Prevention is key in reducing the risk of groin adductor injuries. Regular conditioning of the adductor muscles, maintaining flexibility and strength, and practicing proper form and technique during activities can significantly lower the chances of strain occurrence.

Remember, recovering from a groin adductor strain requires patience, commitment, and professional guidance. With the right approach, individuals can overcome these injuries, regain their strength, and return to their desired level of activity. Stay proactive, listen to your body, and prioritize proper care to ensure a successful recovery from groin adductor strains.

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