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					essential skills

9O massage & bodywork   march/aprll 2010

A strained adductor muscle
or tendon can be a tenacious,
enduring injury', causing                                                                adductor longus

persistent pain in the inner
thigh. If a person teeLs pain
high up near the groin, he or
she has injured the tendon                                                               adductor brevis

of one of the four primary
adductor muscles: the gracilis,                                                          gracilis

adductor longus, adductor
brevis, or adductor niagnus.                                                             adductor longus

If the pain is toward the mid-
thigh, the musdefibersare                                                                adductor magnus

injured. Pain in both places
indicates damage to both
tendon and muscle fibers.
    More localized pain felt high up
on tbe pubic ramis suggests an injury
to tbe pectineus—another muscle-
tendon unit that assists in adduction,
especially when the hip is flexed.                                           Sebattà.AtiasdtiAratomitdesMeiachr
    In severe cases, even walking hurts,                                     @ Etsevier GmbH. Ufban S Richer Verlaç Munich
but more commonly, the person feels
pain only during vigorous activity
or when stretching the inner-thigb

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muscles. Proper treatment can
eliminate this injury in a relatively short
period of time, but without treatment, it
can plag'ue the person for many years.

The adductor muscles function to draw
the legs together and help stabilize
them in walking or running, working
especially hard during side-to-side
movements. The adductor muscles
are anchored into the pubic bone
and run to either the mid-thigh or
the medial knee at the distal end.
    These structures can be injured
easily while running, especially in
sports that require sudden, quick,
side-to-side movements, such as
tennis, squash, and basketball. The
adductors are also vulnerable in a
sport like soccer, where the medial           INJURY VERIFICATION                       TEST 3
aspect of the foot is used extensively in     There are a number of positions           This final test is the most efficient
kicking the ball. During this t\'pe of        in which you can test the                 way to assess the pectineus muscle-
a kick, the adductor muscles provide          adductors. We will move from the          tendon unit. Ask the client to raise
the primary force. When two players           easiest to the most stressful.            the knees toward the chest, with the
kick the ball simultaneously in that                                                    legs splayed open as far as possible.
way, this creates a great strain on           TEST 1                                    Now, place your hands on the medial
these structures. The adductors can           With the client lying supine on the       aspects of each knee and ask the client
also be injured by vigorous dancing.          table, place your fist between the        to draw the knees together, as you
    Most frequently, however, these           client's knees, with the sides of your    resist with equal and opposite force.
injuries result from forced stretching,       fist (the soft part) against the bony
overuse, or straining while using an          portions of the knees. Now, ask the       PALPATION TESTING
adduction machine improperly at the           client to squeeze your fist by drawing    Because adductor strains do not cause
gym. The average person's adductor            the knees together. If this causes        any referred pain, the location of the
muscles are not very flexible or strong.      pain an\Tvhere in the medial thigh,       pain tells you exactly where the injured
As you may recall from previous               an adductor strain is present.            tissue is located. Very medial pain
articles, limitations in the range of                                                   indicates the gracilis, while slightly
motion of muscles or joints makes these       TEST 2                                    more anterior pain suggests the
structures more vulnerable to injury. In      If there is no pain in Test 1, ask the    adductors magnus, longus, and brevis.
addition, all of our muscles are naturally    client to bend the knees and place        If the pectineus is injured, the pain
weaker near the end of their range of         the feet fíat on the table, with the      will be felt a bit higher up on the pubic
motion. As a result, when individuals         knees IU-12 inches apart. Now, apply      ramus, lateral to the pubic symphysis.
start to use an adductor machine with         pressure to the medial aspects of the     Following the client's lead, palpate
the legs spread far apart at the end of       knees and have the client draw the        the adductor muscle-tendon unit to
their range of motion, they often injure      knees together as you resist with equal   determine where the pain is most acute.
themselves severely the moment they           and opposite force (see image above).     Start in the middle of the thigh, even
begin to draw their legs together.            If that causes no pain, move the knees    if the injury is in the groin. (Sudden
                                              apart another foot and try again. If      or unexpected contact high up on
                                              this causes no pain, allow the knees      someone's thigh can feel uncomfortable
                                              to drop out as far as they can toward
                                              the table and repeat the same test.

92   massage & bodywork          march/april 2010
                                                                          Grow Your Massage Practice
                                                                          With a Garden of Knowledge:
or invasive.) Now, begin tracing your
way up the structure until you reach the                                 ....
                                                                   40 AromathM-apy Essentials ww«
portion that is tender to the touch. This                          30 Fibromyalgia & Massage                                          *36<r'33O
may be just below the attachment to                                22 Healing Energy & Touch                                          '26Cr'23O
the pubis or right on the pubis itself. Be                         22 Shiatsu Anma Therapy                                            '26(r*230
careful to drape the client appropriately.                         20 Nerve Mobilization                                              •340" '210
                                                                   20 Neuromuscuiar Therapy                                           '240*
SIGNSOFANAVULSION                                                  20 Myofascial Release                                                    '210
                                                                   18 Advanced Anatomy & Pathology                                     'Zt5"'185
                                                                   18 Polarity Therapy                                                '3«''I85
If the pain is fairly severe, especially in
                                                                   t7 Advanced Anatomy & Physiology                                   '205' '175
the groin area near the attachment to                              17 Qinical Massage Therapy                                         *7JS5Í
the pubis, it's possible that the person                           17 Sports Massage                                                        '175
has an avulsion fracture—a condition                                17    Lymphatic Drainage Massue                                   '265" '175
in which the tendon, or a piece of the                              17    Reflexology                                                 •2ÖS''I75
tendon, pulls away from the bone and                                16    Cranial-Sacral Fundamentals
takes a small piece of bone with it.                                16    Prenatal Massage Fundamentals
>bung people in their teens sometimes                               16    Stone Massage                                               »Í9ff'160
tiet avulsion fractures right at the                                13    Pharmacology for Massage                                    • l * r '135
attachment to the pubis. Although this                              12    Chair Massage Fundamentals                                          '115
is relatively uncommon, it can prove                                \2    Deep Tissue Massage                                                  '115
serious if not attended to properly;                                (2    Swedish Massage for Professionals                           'JJ45' MIS
therefore, be sure to have the client see
a doctor to get an X-ray or an MRI.

                                                                                                   Enroll in a home
                                                                                                   study CE course
SELF-TREATMENT                                                                                     and complete the
it you catch an adductor injury early,                                                             CE test online.
self-treatment can be quite effective.                                                             just mention
Tn the early phase of this injury, it is                                                           offer MB1003.
essential to rest and do no stretching
tor 3 week to 10 days. As the pain
subsides, the client should begin very
gently stretching the adductors, as
indicated in the e.\ercises described
lielow. As the condition improves,
the person can participate in athletic
activity, provided no pain is felt during
it or immediately afterward. (Begin                                                             SAVE AN EXTRA 'S IF YOU
                                                                                                ENROLL BY APRIL 1"!
with some moderate activity, such as
                                                                                                MENVON OFFER «8100386.
walking, swimming, Pilâtes, or yoga—
not basketball or running.) If the client
experiences any pain or discomfort,                            Plus: FREE monthly e-newsletter with tips and onginal articles
                                                                     to help build your massage practice. Sign up today!
it's important to pull back and go                                          www. M assage U
slower. After two weeks have passed
with no pain, the client can slowly                                                                                   i
                                                                                                  I N S T I T U T E FOi
resume his or her normal activities.                                                            IN'TECRATIVE
                                                                                              • HEALTHCARE
FRICTION THERAPY AND MASSAGE                                             vant^td Resources for Professional Studies Since (996

A combination of friction therapy and
massage is typically quite effective                                               800-364-5722
in treating this injury. The friction                                           
therapy breaks apart the adhesive scar
                                                         T iti'f   gi"   II " " " I I I 1*1 iiniMi iiiiriiiii iiitirriiiii|i -hm i r r i T   M I-I mir I II

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                                                        ESSENTIAL SKILLS

     Be Recognized as an
     Expert ¡n Pregnancy
                                                        Most frequently, these

                                                        injuries result from
                                                        forced stretching,
                                                        overuse, or straining
                                                        while using an adduction
                                                        machine improperly at
                                                        the gym
     You're dedicated to helping your clients through
     their pregnancies—that's why you have
                                                                           tissue that has formed in the iniured
     advanced training in pregnancy massage.
                                                                           tissues, and the massage supports
                                                                           the healing process by enhancing
     Membership in the American Pregnancy                                  circulation. If the injury is recent, it
     Massage Association recognizes your expertise                         should heal within about eight sessions
     and will help you build your pregnancy massage                        (two sessions per week over the course
                                                                           of a month). For an older injury, the
     practice.                                                             treatment process will likely take eight
                                                                           or 10 weeks or longer. Adding the
     The APMA:                                                             exercise program will help to reduce the
     • Educates expectant moms about the                                   recovery time. Teach \'our client the
                                                                           protocol described in the next section
       benefits of pregnancy massage.
                                                                           after the second or third treatment.
     • Helps women find massage therapists with
       advanced training.                                                  Location and friction of the
     • Supports scientific research about                                  adductors at the pubis. The most
       pregnancy massage.                                                  common location of injury is right at
                                                                           the attachment to the pubi.s. This is
                                                                           a very personal and vulnerable area
     Join the APMA today and be recognized as an                           of the body, so be ver)' careful when
     expert in pregnancy massage.                                          performing your treatment. Be sure
                                                                           to obtain explicit consent from the
                                                                           client before you begin. To get access
                                                                           to tbe adductor tendon, ask the person
                                                                           to bend the knee of tbe injured leg
                   american pregnancy                                      and let it drop out to the side. Place
                   massage association
                                                                           a pillow under the lateral tbigb and
                                                                           knee, making sure this position feels                                              comfortable, and then palpate the
                                                                           adductor tendon, beginning at least a
                      703.470.2762                                         few inches distal to the pubis. Work

94   massage & bodywork       march/aprii 2010
your way up slowly until you are on the     EXERCISE PROGRAM                              5. Place an ice pack or heating pad on
injured portion of the tendon. Now,         The exercise program for the adductors           the injured area for five minutes.
place your index and middle finger          has five steps and should be done daily           Be sure to educate the client ahout
on the injured structure, move across       for six to eight weeks, or until the client   the importance of regular exercise,
the tendon at a 90-degree angle with        is pain-free for two weeks. Give your         including a warm-up procedure,
moderate pressure, and then move back       client the following instructions:            stretching, and strengthening of not
to your original position with no force.    1. Warm up the leg for two to                 only the adductor muscles (which
After you have frictioned in this manner       three minutes, either walking or           have likely atrophied), but also the
for five minutes, take a break, followed       swinging the leg from side to side.        hamstrings, abductors, and quadriceps
by another five minutes of friction.        2. Lie on your back, bend your knee,          muscles. All three types of exercise
    This treatment should cause                and place your hand on the inner           are important for maintaining the
mild discomfort, but no pain. It is            surface of the knee. Allow the leg         health of the thigh, and should be
normal for the client to be sore for           to open out to the side and stretch        done at least three times a week.
24-48 hours following the treatment,           gently for 20-30 seconds. You
but if the discomfort lasts longer             should feel only a slight pull; use        SAFETY IN STRENGTH
than that, you have used too much              no extra force beyond the weight of        For athletes who perform any sport or
pressure. Go lighter the next time.            the leg. Rest the leg for a moment         other activity that involves running,
                                               and repeat four more times.                having very strong adductors is
Location and friction of tbe adductor       3. Lie on your side with the injured          an absolute necessity. The average
tendon body and muscle belly. Perform          leg on the bottom and bend tbe top         person should be strong enougb to do
the palpation testing described earlier        leg, placing that foot on the floor in     whatever he or she wants to do in life,
to locate the painful area(s). There           front of the other knee. Lift your         plus a bit of extra strength. Flexibility
will often be one primary area of              bottom leg off the floor about 8-10        is also extremely beneficial. Regular
pain and one or two secondary areas.           inches, and then lower it so that it is    stretching that achieves maximum
Using the pads of your fingers, move           an inch above the ground. Repeat this      flexibility in the thigh gives protection
through the muscle belly structure             10 times. Now lower the leg to the         against future injuries to the thigh and
at a 90-degree angle, using moderate           ground for a brief rest. Repeat this       to the low back as well, making it an
pressure. Apply pressure repeatedly in         action for three sets of 10 repetitions.   excellent investment in the continuing
one direction for five or six minutes,         The goal is to feel fatigue at some        health of the lower body. m4b
take a sbort rest, and then repeat.            point in the last set of 10 repetitions.
                                               If you do not feel any fatigue, add a      w Ben E. Benjamin. PhD, holds a doctorate in
Location and friction of tbe pectineus         1-pound ankle weight. Continue with        education and sports medicine. He is founder
at the pubis. After obtaining permission       the same amount of weight for a week       of the Muscular Therapy Institute. Benjamin
from the client to work in this sensitive      or so. When the exercise no longer         has been in private practice for more than 45
area, use the tips of your middle              creates fatigue, increase the weight       years and has taught communication skills as
three fingers to apply friction along          by half a pound or a pound and             a trainer and coach for more than 25 years.
the broader bony attachment to the             proceed for another week. Continue         He teaches extensively across the country
lateral edge of the pubic bone. ."Vpply        increasing the weight until you can        on topics including SAVt communications.
pressure in one direction for only five        do the exercise with the same amount       ethics, and orthopedic massage, and is
or six minutes, then rest and repeat.          of weight on your injured leg as on        the author of Listen to Your Pain. Are
                                               your uninjured leg (a minimum of           You Tense? and Exercise Witbout injury.
MASSAGE THERAPY                                8 pounds). If you feel fatigue in the      and coauthor of The Ethics of Touch. He
Massage the entire thigb, anterior             first or second set of 10 before you       can be contacted at
and posterior, accenting tbe adductors         add any weight, modify the exercise
on tbe medial aspect. Be sure to               by bending your knee to a 90-degree        Editors note; Massage & Bodywork is
include some transverse massage                angle. It is much easier to raise the      dedicated to educating readers witbin
on the adductors as well. Also, work           thigh without the weight of the lower      the scope of practice for massage
the entire kinetic chain, including            leg. As you get stronger, straighten       therapy. Essential Skills is based on author
the lower leg and tbe buttock.                 the leg a little bit more each week.       Ben E. Benjamin's years of experience
                                            4. Repeat the stretch from Step 2.            and education. The column is meant
                                                                                          to add to readers' tcnowledge. not to
                                                                                          dictate their treatment protocols.

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