Adductor & Hamstring Injuries - Are They Related?

"I wanted to ask you about manipulating scar tissue - particularly in the ischial tuberosity areas...

This dialogue is with a woman who has a steady, long-term practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga.  This grew from a conversation during the 'Hips & Lower Back' workshop on July 23, 2016.

"I tore a hamstring attachment in supta padanghustasana last September, and it healed over many months to the point where it doesn't hurt anymore but left residual tightness that limits range of motion. I practiced through the healing so I got a lot of range back, but not all of it.

"Fast forward to June, and I tore my adductor magnus attachment on the same leg (this time in a contortion class, not in practice), but the tear was much more minor than the hamstring one. I got to the same 'painless but tight' point in only a month and a half.

"These injuries haven't limited my practice too much, but the tightness can get uncomfortable when I hit its limits. It only affects me when I'm abducted and in hip flexion with my legs extended. So - the prasaritas, trikonasana on one side, kurmasana (but not supta kurmasana), upavishta konasana. The rest of primary (Ashtanga Vinyasa ) and the first half of intermediate are ok for me otherwise.

Thoughts on the topic:

Another way to look at these injuries is that they are both to the hamstring, and likely have significant connective tissue linkage.  'Incomplete' recovery suggests that fascial adhesions remain.

By way of background, it is interesting to note that the adductor magnus is composed of two parts based on origin:  one arising from the ischiopubic ramus, and the other arising from the ischial tuberosity.  Categorization by embryonic origin and function identifies the portion originating at the ischium ('sit bone') as belonging to the hamstring compartment.

(See -

The hands-on work completed in class addressed the quadriceps attachment at the ilium, the adductor group, and the tensor fascia late and iliotibial band.  We released local tension by 'lifting' the tissue, and tested by moving into trikonasana.

My guess is that releasing tension in the 3 of the 4 major planes of the leg -  anterior, medial, lateral - introduced the missing length into which the hamstring could move more freely.

Direct pressure at the ischial origin ('sit bone') can resolve adhesions here, though the fascial thickening can also move along the periosteum without resolution.  It may be simpler to introduce length by lifting associated bands of fiber (as demonstrated during class).

Introducing movement between layers of injured tissue is the ideal approach to reducing adhesion and recovering full mobility.  The challenge, though, lies in achieving this independently - without a partner.  Too much compression does not allow the layers to achieve independence and float past one another.  Too little compression and the layers move in conjunction.

The remedies I'm familiar and comfortable with include a focused asana practice and direct work with a knowledgeable bodyworker.  In either case you'd want to address the injury specifically as well as associated compensations.  Whether you work with a bodyworker, asana teacher or therapist, select one who is competent in functional anatomy and - preferably - one who is versed in your movement form (e.g. asana, martial arts, biking)