Adductors are muscles that draw body parts toward the center of the body, allow the body to flex, or even facilitate the rotational movement of the limbs. Any muscle that facilitates movement toward the body's sagittal plane may be considered an adductor muscle. The sagittal plane of the body runs vertically from the head to the feet, sectioning the body into left and right halves.
Among the muscles of adduction are muscles in the shoulder, such as the subscapularis and pectoralis major. The wrist has adductor muscles as well, such as the flexor carpi ulnaris. In the fingers, the palmar interossei are adductors, and the adductor pollicis is located in the thumb. In the thigh, the adductors include the adductor longus and adductor brevis as well as others. Even the eye ball has muscles that act as adductors, including the superior rectus muscle.
Most often, people talk about the adductor muscles in terms of the inner thighs. The inner thigh includes an adduction group of five muscles. This group includes the adductor brevis, longus, pectineus, magnus, and gracilis. These adductors serve as a connection between the bone of the inner thigh and the ishium, which is the bone with the lowest position of the three pelvic bones. The thigh's adductor muscles help to pull the legs together, move the legs toward the body's center, and provide stabilization for a person's hip joint.
Sometimes the thigh adductor muscles suffer injury. For example, an adductor muscle may tear or even rupture. This may occur when a person is running or kicking a ball, for example. Overusing these muscles may cause injury as well. With a minor adductor injury, the patient might experience discomfort in the area, tightness of the muscles, and tenderness when the affected area is touched. A moderate injury may include sharp pains during exercise, swelling, and weakness. A more serious adductor injury may cause severe pain during exercise or stretching, swelling and bruising, and difficulty squeezing the legs together.
Treatment for injury to the adductors typically includes rest, icing the affected area, and keeping it elevated. An individual with a severe injury to the thigh adductor muscles may have to walk with crutches for a time. A doctor may also recommend further treatment, such as rehabilitative therapy. Exercise can help to keep the adductors strong and flexible, making injury less likely. Among those that are good for the thigh adductors are lunges, squats, and adductions.