Hip Adductor Tendinopathy

Hip Adductor Tendinopathy

John Miller Physiotherapist

Article by John Miller

Hip Adductor Tendinopathy

Hip adductor tendinopathy refers to the inflammation or degeneration of the tendons attaching the hip adductor muscles to the pelvis or thigh bone. This condition often causes groin pain and can develop from overuse, repetitive stress, or an earlier injury like a groin strain.

The hip adductor muscles, crucial for hip joint movement and stability, especially in lateral movements, include the pectineus, adductor brevis, and adductor longus (short adductors) as well as the gracilis and adductor magnus (long adductors). They pull the legs together and stabilise the hip joint during movement.

Symptoms of Hip Adductor Tendinopathy

If you feel groin pain, especially at the top of your adductor muscles, you might have hip adductor tendinopathy. This pain can spread down the leg and worsen when you resist hip flexion or press your legs together. Consequently, you might find running, especially sprinting, challenging. Tendons can get injured in various areas: the musculotendinous junction, mid-tendon (non-insertional tendinopathy), or at the tendon’s insertion into the bone, often due to overtraining.

Diagnosing a Tendon Injury

hip adductor tendinopathy
Hip Adductor Tendinopathy

To diagnose a tendon injury, a physiotherapist usually conducts a detailed medical history check and a physical examination. They’ll assess your pain area, check for swelling, and test the affected tendon’s strength and flexibility. If your symptoms persist or are severe, they might suggest diagnostic tests like an ultrasound scan or MRI to pinpoint the injury’s location and severity.

Treatments for Hip Adductor Tendinopathy

To effectively treat hip adductor tendinopathy, you should consult a qualified physiotherapist. They will assess your condition and devise a treatment plan tailored to your needs. Common treatments include rest, ice, physiotherapy, anti-inflammatory medications, massage and exercises. Occasionally other modalities may be trialled including ultrasound therapy, extracorporeal shockwave therapy, platelet-rich plasma injections, or corticosteroids. Severe cases may require surgery.

Phases of Tendinopathy

Tendinopathy progresses through four phases:

  1. Reactive Tendinopathy: The normal tissue adaptation phase. Minor tendon damage due to overuse or injury results in pain and inflammation. Proper management can lead to a full recovery.
  2. Tendon Dysrepair: The tendon’s repair rate falls behind the injury rate. The tissue quality starts deteriorating, but timely treatment can reverse this phase.
  3. Degenerative Tendinopathy: Tendon cells begin to die, and tissue quality drops significantly. Preventing this phase is crucial, as full recovery becomes difficult.
  4. Tendon Tear or Rupture: The tendon breaks down completely. Surgery often becomes the only solution.

For the best outcome, seek medical advice from a physiotherapist at the first signs of tendinopathy. Early diagnosis and treatment enhance the chances of a full recovery.

In Conclusion

Hip adductor tendinopathy can significantly impact one’s mobility and daily life. Understanding its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options remains crucial. While the condition may seem daunting, early intervention and consultation with a physiotherapist can make a world of difference. With the right care and attention, recovery is not just possible but highly probable. Always prioritise your health and seek professional advice when in doubt.

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