CRAZIEST thing I heard last week was when a client came in with two knee replacements and has been receiving massages frequently ever since the replacements and has NEVER had these muscles worked on! First of all if you have any hip, knee, ankle or low back issues and you have never had these muscles worked on, you need to find a new massage therapist because they either don’t care, or they truly just don’t understand anatomy and physiology, which will not help you progress.
These muscles commonly referred to as the adductors play a pivotal role when you walk(I included the vastus medialis in the picture, a quadricep muscle). Every time you take a step, essentially you are balanced on one leg. What helps keep you stabilized is those adductors along with your gluteus medius to counteract the adductors. Possible visual signs of dysfunction in either muscle is a postural distortion called ‘knock knees’ where your knees are literally touching. More than likely, you have overactive adductors, and under-active glute medius. Now, I have never had a client that came in with knock knees and did not have both tension and or pain upon palpation in the glute medius and adductor group. With that, the typical client that comes in with knock knees experiences pain or tension in the low back, hips, or knees. If you take a look at those adductor muscles, you can see that there are attachments at the pelvis, and down around the knee… Therefore, you can imagine, if these muscles become over-tight or dysfunctional, they can effect your hip and knee joints by altering the way you move, sit, and by creating further muscle imbalance with the glute medius and other muscles directly involved with the movement.
The sad thing is, so many people are exercising with no clue what they are really doing to their body and no clue what they really should be doing in the gym. Exercising should never be painful and you shouldn’t just do what everyone else is doing because it gave them results. Every body is different. Take the time to learn about your body. Find professionals that will take the time to teach you what you need to learn. Then take action.
Try this test: Balance on your right leg, does your left hip drop? If so you likely have over-tight adductors and an under-active gluteus medius on your right side. Now test the other leg.
Question: Is there anyone that does Crossfit that has never had pain in any of their joints? I’m asking for a friend…