Adductor muscle strains in sport

Sports Med. 2002;32(5):339-44. doi: 10.2165/00007256-200232050-00005.


An in-season adductor muscle strain may be debilitating for the athlete. Furthermore, an adductor strain that is treated improperly could become chronic and career threatening. Any one of the six muscles of the adductor group could be involved. The degree of injury can range from a minor strain (Grade I), where minimal playing time is lost, to a severe strain (Grade III) in which there is complete loss of muscle function. Ice hockey and soccer players seem particularly susceptible to adductor muscle strains. In professional ice hockey players throughout the world, approximately 10% of all injuries are groin strains. These injuries, which have been linked to hip muscle weakness, previous injuries to that area, preseason practice sessions and level of experience, may be preventable if such risk factors can be addressed before each season. Hip-strengthening exercises were shown to be an effective method of reducing the incidence of adductor strains in one closely followed National Hockey League ice hockey team. Despite the identification of risk factors and strengthening intervention for ice hockey players, adductor strains continue to occur throughout sport. Clinicians feel an active training programme, along with completely restoring the strength of the adductor muscle group, is the key to successful rehabilitation. Surgical intervention is available if nonoperative treatment fails for 6 months or longer. Adductor release and tenotomy was reported to have limited success in athletes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / therapy*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sprains and Strains / diagnosis
  • Sprains and Strains / epidemiology
  • Sprains and Strains / therapy*