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Trigger Point Therapy - Treating the Hip Adductors

Posted by Team NAT on


Treating the hip adductors - Stuart Hinds


Learning to treat these trigger points effectively can be a boon to your practice. 

(Latin adducere, to lead toward; magnus, large; brevis, short; longus, long)

The adductor magnus is the largest of the adductor muscle group, which also includes the adductor brevis and adductor longus. The adductor longus is the most anterior of the three. The adductor brevis lies anterior to the adductor magnus. The lateral border of the upper fibers of the adductor longus form the medial border of the femoral triangle (the sartorius forms the lateral boundary; the inguinal ligament forms the superior boundary).


Adductor Magnus - Common Trigger Point Sites




Adductor Brevis and Adductor Longus - Common Trigger Point Sites




Anterior part of pubic bone (ramus). Adductor magnus also takes origin from ischial tuberosity.


Whole length of medial side of femur, from hip to knee.


Adduct and laterally rotate hip joint. Adductors longus/brevis also flex extended femur and extend flexed femur.


Magnus: posterior division of obturator nerve L2, 3, 4. Tibial portion of sciatic nerve, L4, 5, S1. Brevis: anterior division of obturator nerve, (L2–L4). Sometimes the posterior division also supplies a branch to it.

Longus: anterior division of obturator nerve, L2, 3, 4.


Example: bringing second leg in or out of a car.




There are several zones of referred pain: (1) two zones localized around anterior hip 5–8 cm, and above knee 5–8 cm; (2) whole anteromedial thigh from inguinal ligament to medial knee joint; (3) medial thigh from hip to knee.




Deep pain/tenderness in medial thigh, hip/leg stiffness on abduction, pain on weight bearing/rotating hip, “clicky” hip, hot/stinging pain under thigh, groin strain, post hip- replacement/fracture rehabilitation, renal tubular acidosis, swollen legs, osteoarthritis of hip.


Leg splint/cast, foot/ankle problems, sudden overload due to gymnastics, football/ice skating injury, horse riding, skiing, cross-legged sitting.


Avulsion. Pubic symphysis dysfunction. Neuropathy. Lymphadenopathy. Hernia. Knee pain (mechanical). Osteoarthritic hip. Femoral herniation.


Pectineus, vastus medialis, iliopsoas, vastus lateralis, sartorius (lower end).


Prescribed stretching exercises can be useful



Modify activities until trigger points diminish. Home stretch program. Avoid overuse at gym. Explore habitual postures. Check techniques (ex. skiing/ cycling). Explore vitamin/mineral deficiency.


Treatment techniques include deep stroking massage, compression, muscle energy techniques, and positional release techniques


Post-Isometric (PIR) Technique

Indications: subacute to chronic settings

1. Identify the trigger point.

2. Position the patient in a comfortable position, where the affected/host muscle can undergo full stretch.

3. Using 10–25% of their power, ask the patient to contract the affected/host
muscle at its maximal pain-free length, while applying isometric resistance for 3–10 seconds; stabilize the body part to prevent muscle shortening.

4. Ask the patient to relax the muscle or “let it go.”

5. During this relaxation phase, gently lengthen the muscle by taking up 
the slack to the point of resistance (passive)—note any changes in length.

6. Repeat several times (usually three).











This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell. 




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