With adduction, movements of a body part are referred to, which are directed to the body center (spreading). Adduction exists on 4 joints of the human body: in the hip joint, in the shoulder joint, in the finger base joints and in the thumb saddle joint.

What is adduction?

Basically, adduction describes the movement of body parts to the body.

The term is defined in descriptive anatomy using the plane-axis system. There movements are determined starting from the so-called zero position. This is defined for all joints by the position in the upright position with hanging arms.

Basically, adduction describes the movement of body parts to the body, for example, the application of a previously spread arm.

Function & Task

The adduction movement is of analytical importance to physicians or physiotherapists. The fact that the movement is defined by the amplitude can be used to test for movement disorders and to document whether there is a restriction of the function. In this way, strength and flexibility are examined. The tests are repeated at regular intervals to check if any medical or other therapies have improved or not. Depending on the result, the further procedure must be modified.

The best known are the adductors of the thigh, which pull the leg over the hip joint inwards. These are five muscles, all of which come from the pubic bone, pull over the hip joint and attach to the inside of the thighbone or on the inside of the tibia.

In addition to adduction, these muscles are also involved in other movements. Especially at the diffraction and the external rotation. This combination of the three movement types is often used in everyday life and in sports. When walking and running in the swing leg phase and, for example, when playing soccer the ball with the inside of the foot.

In the shoulder joint, the strongest adductors are the large pectoral muscle (pectoralis major muscle) and the broad dorsal muscle (latissimus dorsi muscle). As in the hip joint, they combine adduction with other movements for functional movements. The pectoralis pulls the arm from a raised position to the front down, an activity that occurs in many throwing movements and other sports activities. For volleyball, for example, when smashing, in handball when throwing and swimming especially in the butterfly in the first movement phase after immersion. The latissimus pulls the arm rather back down, which occurs for example in pull-ups and in all swimming styles.

The adductors of the fingers lie on the inner side of the fingers and pull the fingers 2, 4 and 5 in the direction of the middle finger in a pure adduction movement. This function always occurs when we grab something.

The thumb adduction is actually a movement that does not functionally occur. The executive muscle, the adductor pollicis muscle, is involved in combination movements that bring the thumb to the other fingers, for example when grasping with the fingertips or the whole hand.

Diseases & complaints

The most common dysfunction of adduction is injury to the muscle, very often the adductor of the hip. Adductor strains or torn muscle fibers in this area are very common in sports. Strain, hamstring or muscle rupture differ only in their severity. Accordingly, the symptoms occurring are similar, but of varying intensity, whereby the healing phase is different in time. These injuries are always accompanied by pain and loss of function. The body switches to protection, in order not to irritate the injury more. For those affected, a more or less long rest period follows in the affected area, followed by therapy and a slow build-up of stress.

As with other muscles, the adductors may be affected by irritation around the tendon tendon (insertion endopathy). This type of irritation is a typical congestion syndrome and more commonly affects two or more jointed muscles; in the hip joint, the gracilis muscle, which pulls over the knee joint and in the shoulder joint already named the two. The result is pain in the tension of the affected muscles and their stretching. The therapy is similar to strains, but should always be searched for the cause of the overload in order to minimize these lasting. Also, the origin of the Hüftadduktoren often show inflammatory reactions of this kind. Due to the localization one speaks in the case of a pubic bone infection.

Like all other movements, adduction is also affected if osteoarthritis is present in the associated joint. In this disease, it comes creeping to joint pain, loss of strength and movement restrictions. The reduction in strength and flexibility initially concern more the movements that are performed in everyday stresses against gravity. Therefore, adduction is affected only at an advanced stage. For the diseased people, this has consequences for walking in the hip joint. In the shoulder joint, all movements that are carried out with weight bearing in the direction of the middle of the body, such as eating and drinking, affected.

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