Could this Thigh Muscle Be Hindering Your Love Life?
In past issues, we’ve talked a lot about the wide range of pain and other problems caused by myofascial trigger points. In this issue, we highlight a muscle whose trigger points can go so far as to make it difficult to enjoy intimacy with your loved one. This culprit is an inner thigh muscle called the Adductor Magnus.
The referred pain from trigger points in the Adductor Magnus, especially high up on the inner thigh region (upper white ‘x’), can cause intrapelvic pain that may even be experienced in the vagina or rectum. In some patients, this pain may only be felt during sexual intercourse. Additionally, trigger points further down the Adductor Magnus toward the knee (lower white ‘x’) cause pain along the inner thigh, as shown in red in the picture to the left.
Not only can trigger points in this muscle make sleeping with your partner painful, it can make sleeping itself uncomfortable. Often, you will find it difficult to find a comfortable position for your hips or legs when trying to sleep. You might find lying on your side with a pillow between your knees is needed to relax.
Luckily, a few simple tests and self-care exercises can help you assess and relieve the pain caused by trigger points in the Adductor Magnus, and perhaps make intimacy with your partner more enjoyable in the process!
*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional. Please consult your physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.
(2) Quick Self-Tests to Tell if You have Trigger Points in Your Adductor Magnus: Follow the instructions below to get a good idea of whether myofascial trigger points might be causing you inner thigh and/or pelvic pain.
TEST 1: Knee Drop Test
Start by lying on your back. Lift one leg up and place the bottom of the foot on the opposite inside knee, resting the side of your foot on the table. Allow the raised knee to fall gently outward to the side as far as it can go naturally without contracting any muscles. A Passing result is when the knee drops all the way down to rest on the table. A Failing result occurs when the knee remains elevated off the table. The higher the knee is off the table, the more myofascial dysfunction is present in the Adductor Magnus.
TEST 2: Adductor Magnus Palpation
As always, palpation (the medical term for pressing, feeling and squeezing to evaluate body tissue) is often the most effective test to identify myofascial trigger points in your Adductor Magnus muscle.
The Adductor Magnus muscle is found on the inner thigh as shown (shaded in green). To palpate, press your finger tips deep into the muscle tissue. Feel for tender spots and taut bands of muscle tissue.
Also, take note of any Referred Pain, especially pain that refers into the pelvis or along the inner thigh.
3-Step Simple Self-Care Remedies
Here are simple self-care remedies for treating myofascial trigger points in your Adductor Magnus. Repeat 2-3 times per day and observe how your flexibility and pain can improve!
Step 1: Warming Up with Moist Heat
To relax and warm up the fibers of the Adductor Magnus, take a warm bath or place a Fomentek bag over your inner thigh for 10-15 minutes.
Step 2: Compression
We prefer the Jacknobber to perform compression on the Adductor Magnus, or the elbow works well, also.
Positioning yourself as shown, cover the entire length and width of the Adductor Magnus in your inner thigh, looking for taut bands and tender spots. When you find a tender spot, press into the muscle to pain tolerance (“good pain” – not pain that is sharp or makes you want to withdraw). Hold for 10 seconds while completing at least two full breaths in and out. Then continue searching for more tender spots until the entire muscle is covered.
Step 3: Stretching the Adductor Magnus
Below is an excellent intermediate stretch that you can perform after completing your compression work.
Stand with your legs spread comfortably wide apart. With hands on your hips for balance (standing near a wall for support is also recommended), slowly lunge to the side, bending one knee as shown. This will stretch the opposite Adductor Magnus. Hold this stretch for 20 seconds. If you find yourself losing balance, you can gently touch the wall for stability or rest your hands on the back of a sturdy chair. Repeat 3 times and see if you can lunge a little further each time. Be sure not to bend the knee beyond 90 degrees, however, to prevent straining the knee.