Inner Thigh Pain

How to Treat Inner thigh Pain

            Stretching the adductor muscles beyond their abilities is a common sports injury resulting in inner thigh pain.  Participants in field sports, such as football and soccer, are especially prone to this ailment.




            Muscles in the human body enable us to move in the many ways we are able.  The adductor muscles are actually a group of four muscles with different functions, although they work in conjunction with one another.  The synergistic movements of these muscles serve to move the legs together toward the center of the body when the muscles contract.  These muscles begin at the pelvic bone and continue down the femur where they intermittently attach to the bone.  Being attached at intervals in this manner gives greater strength and stability for both the hip joint and the femur.  The muscles at the outside of the thigh are called the “abductor” muscles, and work opposite the adductors to perform the reverse function of moving the legs outward.

            Some activities that are performed during field sports are detrimental to these muscles, and result in inner thigh pain for the individual playing the sport.  Sudden changes of direction while running are the very nature of these sports, and are also the very cause of damage to the adductor muscles.  Quick starts and stops serve to deliver the same damage.  When the muscle is stretched beyond its limits, small tears occur in the muscle.  These tears will inevitably cause swelling of the area, with accompanying pain.  If the tear in the muscle is severe, the pain will also be extreme and swelling along with bruising will result.

            Treating the strain of the adductor muscle can take several weeks for complete healing.  To begin treatment, the R.I.C.E. method is recommended:  Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation are the steps that are used to treat most strains          of muscles.

            Resting the muscle as soon as possible after the injury occurs is important.  Any additional injuries relating to the muscles will be averted through non-use, and resting will allow your body to operate in its normal capacity to begin the healing process without being hindered.  Icing the area will reduce the amount of swelling that occurs.  Apply ice packs or cold packs to the injured area for no more than 15-20 minutes at a time; repeating the process every hour until relief is felt.  Wrapping the area of injury with an Ace bandage provides compression of the muscle, which will also keep swelling to a minimum, and may provide some relief of pain as well.   When resting, elevate the leg so that it is above the heart.  This is another action that discourages swelling of the leg, and can be done by propping the leg with several pillows.

            While following the R.I.C.E. method of treatment, taking an anti-inflammatory can be helpful in easing the pain.  These medications also reduce swelling, which will speed healing.

            Activity can be resumed once the swelling has subsided.  Begin slowly and carefully with gentle stretching exercises, taking care not to force the muscle to stretch.  Strengthening the leg through low impact and low intensity exercises can follow the stretching, once again using caution to prevent strain on the weakened and healing muscle.   Throughout the rehabilitation, stop immediately if any pain is experienced and reduce the amount of stretching and exercising.  Increasing activity in a gradual manner will help the affected area to grow stronger and perform better.   After a few weeks, it is usually safe to return to regular activity.

            When playing sports results in an injury such as one that creates inner thigh pain, treating the area immediately and effectively will promote healing, putting the individual back on a normal track sooner.