Adductor muscles pain is a common issue with many sports, but also very common with runners, especially trail runners. Our adductors are complex tendons, muscles and ligaments attached to the pelvis, which stabilizes the hips and legs with side to side motion. For trail runners, having to deal with more technical trail, uphill, downhill with rocks can cause more adductor issues than only road running, especially for new trail runners. Improper training, or overtraining can also affect the adductors. Most of the time, we feel adductor tightness or soreness after the run, if we feel some adductor pain during a run, that could be symptoms of some torn ligament or tendon. All levels of runners, beginners to elite runners get adductor tightness.
Luckily, to perform some basic adductor stretches regularly and after our run, will prevent any injuries, and provide faster recovery.
Symptoms of Adductor Injury or Tension
Pain in the lower abdomen that we also can feel in the upper and inner thigh.
Pain when we engage our abs, sneeze or cough.
Pain in the inner groins.
Pain in the upper and inner thigh while running in different range of motions uphill, downhill, or on the trail.
Pain after running or often the next morning.
Causes of Adductor Pain after Running
Weak Hips and Glutes- These weak muscles cause imbalances that affect our running form. Having weak glutes forces our hips to drag our legs forward instead of pushing off from the forefoot.
Overstriding- Overstriding, especially during speedwork sessions can lead to adductor pain or injuries. With overstrides, our extended legs are straight and stiff which affects our body’s ability to cushion the hard impact on the foot landing.
Lack of Recovery- Not including proper muscle stretches, including adductors post-run will cause more tight, tired and inflamed muscles. After a while the muscle tightness will increase which can lead to injury.
Tight Hips- With our current lifestyle, sitting at a desk for many hours daily, affects our body in many ways, but especially tight hips, and hunched over back. We have to make sure that we perform daily hip stretches to loosen our tight hips and correct our posture.
Overtraining- Increasing our running distance or speed too quickly without a proper training plan, can lead to many injuries. Focusing on easy runs weekly and only 2 days of harder runs (speed or uphill training) will save our muscle soreness and injuries.
How to Prevent Adductor Pain from Running
Check your stride, make sure it’s a proper stride and running form
Improve the hip flexibility
Improve the hip strength with some lower body/core exercises
Get a physio therapy session
How to Recover from Adductor Pain or Injuries
1. Rest- Avoid running for a few days. If the adductors are still painful after some recovery days, that could be a sign of injury. Perform light stretches if the pain is intense. Adductor injuries can take up to 6 weeks for healing without running.
2. Add Strength Training- With adductor soreness or mild pain, often the factor is from the imbalance of the glutes, hip flexors, pelvic muscles. To perform some good hip and glute strengthening exercises will prevent adductor pain and create a better running form.
3. Return to Running Slowly- After recovery, we need to start running shorter distances, more easy runs without too much elevation. We need to increase our running pace and distance gradually, as long as we feel comfortable and no pain.
Perform These Basic Adductor Stretches Regularly
Perform Stretches, Improve Flexibility, Enjoy Great Runs!