Adductor tendinopathy

What is an adductor tendinopathy?

Adductor tendinopathy is the name given to pain originating from the adductor tendons where they insert to the pelvic bone in the upper, inner thigh.

The adductor tendons are strong bands of connective tissue attaching your adductor muscles to the pubic bones of your pelvis. The adductor tendons are placed under significant load during sports involving rapid accelerations, twisting and turning on the hips and kicking. As such, an adductor tendinopathy may arise gradually following a period of unaccustomed or intense training. Alternatively, it is possible to sustain an adductor tendinopathy as a result of a sudden stretching movement (usually associated with a small tendon tear).

Common symptoms

Pain is felt directly over the adductor tendons, which lie in the upper, inner thigh at the groin. Some individuals may suffer from referred pain radiating down the inside of the thigh. Symptoms are aggravated by any activity which places significant load through the adductor tendons. This can include:

  • Sports involving rapid acceleration or deceleration
  • Sports involving twisting and turning on the hips
  • Sports involving kicking
  • Lifting the leg when transferring out of the car or out of bed (in severe cases)
How is an adductor tendinopathy diagnosed?

An adductor tendinopathy can be reliably diagnosed by your doctor or physiotherapist by taking a history of your condition and by conducting a physical examination.

The main features are tenderness directly over the adductor tendons or pain when contracting the adductor muscles against resistance.

X-rays and scans are not routinely required. However, in persistent cases, an ultrasound scan may help establish the severity.

How is an adductor tendinopathy treated?

An adductor tendinopathy can be managed very effectively by adhering to the following advice and exercise routine.

Modifying aggravating activities
This does not mean that you will have to stop your sporting activity. However, the adductor tendon may need 4-6 weeks of relative rest to settle symptoms while you work on strengthening the hip adductor muscles and tendons (see below).

Regular exercises to strengthen the hip muscles and tendons.