Tabassum Ali, DC, CCSP, CCCN
Adductor longus strains will typically be found in the ice hockey and soccer communities due to the nature of the sport with an increase of side-to-side stride motion. Strength of the adductor longus is directly correlated with the likelihood of experiencing a groin injury. Pain will be felt with direct palpation of the pubic bone where the adductor longus attaches and any resisted motion of the adductors. The adductor muscle group is comprised of four muscles: adductor magnus, adductor longus, adductor brevis, and pectineus, all which are primarily involved with hip adduction and some hip flexion and hip extension. The adductor longus is the primary muscle of the adductor group to be injured. In some cases an adductor longus strain transpired at a previous time but was over looked, putting the muscle at a higher risk of being injured again at a future time.
Treatment of an adductor longus strain can include steroid injections in the pubic bone area to relieve pain and allow muscle repair with approximately 3 weeks of inactivity. Conservative treatment includes working the adductor muscles by releasing the underlying scar tissue through specific myofascial techniques and addressing alignment of the hips, and possibly the knee and foot. An adductor longus strain can be prevented by strengthening the muscle group and keeping it conditioned throughout the off-season. The goal is to keep the adductors at a strength of at least 80% of the abductors to maintain stability and injury prevention.
Warm up of the muscles is crucial and can be done with simple adductor stretching, side lunges, and sumo squats and continued on with the strengthening program. Exercises to strengthen the adductor longus will include ball squeezes from a flexed knee position to an extended knee, side slides with concentric contraction of the adductor longus, and resistance band with adduction at the hip keeping the knee extended. Strengthening exercises of the adductor longus can be further customized to be sport specific if the athlete so desires. In addition to the adductor strengthening, focus must also be maintained on core and balance strengthening to prevent further injury. Total rehab of the adductor longus with strengthening exercises to a minimum of 80% will take approximately 8 weeks.
At Lone Star Sport & Spine, we approach injuries in a conservative manner that will give the patient the most weighted benefits. Our providers are board certified chiropractors and certified in full body Active Release Technique. We examine the patient and determine the most efficient and quickest treatment plan for them. Our goal is not only to get the athlete back out on the field doing what they love to do, but to also enhance their athletic performance. We address the scar tissue that is built up from micro tears in the tissue due to overuse or previous injuries and develop a program to strengthen and train the muscles to be used functionally. Most all of our patients find results within a few treatments with decreased pain, and increased range of motion, strength, and balance.
In summary, to address an adductor longus strain:
Address the scar tissue in primary involved muscle, and any associated muscle
Stretch the adductors
Strengthen and train the adductors to prevent future injury (sport specific functional training)
Tyler, Timothy, and Stephen Nichols. "Rehabilitation of Extra-Articular Sources of Hip Pain in Athletes." North American Journal of Sports Physical Therapy 2.4 (2007): n. pag. Web. 12 Mar. 2013.
Cressey, Eric. "Construction by Adduction." Testosterone Muscle Articles. N.p., 05 Feb. 2004. Web. 12 Mar. 2013.