Groin injuries are a substantial problem among soccer players due to the repetitive kicking, twisting and cutting involved in the sport. The first step to managing adductor related pain should be an assessment with an experienced sports physiotherapist to rule out other causes of groin pain (iliopsoas, inguinal, pubic and hip related groin pain, lumbar spine referral, entrapment neuropathy).
What is an Adductor Tendinopathy?
Tendinopathy most commonly means abnormal tendon tissue and pain
It is characterised by changes to the collagen structure in the tendon due to repetitive
Overloading, or a sudden change in load.
What are some of the symptoms of an Adductor
Pain in the groin at the top of the adductor muscles that can radiate down the leg.
Pain at a specific point on the bone in the groin.
Pain when you press the legs in together against resistance.
Pain with sprinting, cutting or changing direction in the groin.
Pain with kicking (especially long kicks)
Can begin with a warm up pattern: It is often worse with initial movement, then as you
warm up it may start to feel better, but by the end of your session it may be worse again.
What Causes an Adductor Tendinopathy?
The development of an adductor tendinopathy occurs when your adductors do not have the tolerance required for the load placed on them. This often happens when we load tendons too quickly (coming back from a break), in the wrong way (muscle imbalances and weakness, biomechanics) or with excessive compressive force, they can’t adapt in time.
Other factors which may contribute include: age, genetic predisposition, obesity, hormones and elevated cholesterol.
Why rest doesn’t work to fix groin tendon problems.
Adductor tendinopathies commonly do not resolve with rest during the off season. Whilst the pain might improve significantly or completely in this time whilst you are not loading the tendon, the symptoms will usually return once you resume training.
This is because rest results in a weakening of the tendon rather than returning the tendon to a normal state. Therefore, appropriate and optimised tendon loading is important to restore normal tendon structure and create a healthy resilient tendon.
How to Treat a Groin Tendinopathy
The acute pain caused by a pathological tendon can initially be settled down with relative rest from aggravating activities, isometric exercises and a gradual loading program. However it is also important to identify the underlying cause of the tendinopathy so that it may be addressed. Otherwise the tendinopathy may not resolve completely or it may return in the future.
Common contributing factors include:
Weakness or underutiliszation in some muscles
Poor movement patterns or running technique
Training errors and poor load management
Poor joint mobility
When to see a physio for a Groin Tendon Issue?
If you have been experiencing pain as described above for >1 week, you should seek treatment. Usually the shorter the duration of symptoms, the sooner you will get better! Your physiotherapist will assist you to reduce the acute pain as well as identifying the relevant contributing factors to your pain and address them with strengthening exercises, running drills/technique prompts, functional exercises and a load management plan.
At Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy we will have you back doing your sport or hobby as soon as possible!
How can we help you?
At Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy our goal is to get you moving pain free as soon as possible.
But, we also want you to actually move better and live a healthier, more active and fulfilling life!
If your sports, fitness training or work has been wearing your body down, book in with one of our expert physiotherapists so we can help you reduce your pain and bullet proof your body so that you can keep playing, training and working forever.
If you are showing some signs of injury or simply want help staying injury-free then book in with one of our highly experienced Physiotherapists today!