Adductor injuries a real strain

MEGAN GILLIS -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:37 AM ET

Mentioning the groin always gets a groan.

Dominik Hasek's doctor said yesterday that his patient suffered a slight strain to his adductor brevis.

The goalie said it was "not exactly" in his groin -- where he had surgery two years ago -- and declined to show reporters exactly where it hurt.

"It's bad," was all the Dominator would say about the pain.

But a fan would say the Senators' goalie pulled his groin, said physiotherapist Eleanor Cox of the Sports and Spinal Injury Clinic.

The triangular adductor brevis is the smallest of three muscles running from the pubic bone to the femur. Together, the three pull a goalie's thighs together to stop the puck.

"The adductors bring your legs from the splits into the midline -- they take your leg in," Cox said.

"They are important to goalies because their legs are always being forced apart."

Patients don't tell her they've hurt their adductor, however.

"Patients come and say I've pulled my groin," Cox said.

It's a common injury for skaters -- it felled Michelle Kwan at the Turin Olympics, too -- skiers and hockey players.

We all use our adductors dozens of times a day, when we're climbing a flight of stairs, for example.

Weekend athletes can strengthen their adductors by lying on their side and raising their bottom leg or squeezing their thighs together on a weight machine.

Hasek, meanwhile, is getting better with intensive treatment, including massage, manipulation of the damaged muscle and physiotherapy, Senators team physician Dr. Don Chow said.

While the people who sit in the stands might see a physiotherapist three times a week, an injured Senator could get treatment three times a day, the team doctor said.

Chow said the strain was slight, but the doctor's first reaction on seeing Hasek's injury will have male Senators fans crossing their own legs.

"When you first look at it, you think, 'Did he just get hit by a puck between the legs?' " Chow said.

The groin gets a groan -- every time.


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