Difference Between Abduction and Adduction (With table)

Anatomy is the study of the processes and structures of living creatures. It’s classified as a natural science subfield. Anatomy is a very old science that has been practiced since prehistoric times. The primary goal of anatomy would be to investigate the motions of living organisms’ bodily components. Abduction and adduction are elements of the body’s anatomical framework.

Abduction vs Adduction

The main difference between Abduction and Adduction is the direction of mobility concerning the body’s median or center. The motion of abduction occurs as the body travels far from the midline. On the other hand, the motion of adduction occurs as the body travels closer to the centerline.

Difference Between Abduction and Adduction

Anatomy refers to the idea of abduction. It depicts body movement or anatomical structure away from the midline. It signifies that a person’s hands will travel away from the body at the region of the wrist (expansion). Radial deviation is the term used to describe the extension of the hand. Abduction occurs in the hips, feet, shoulders, and other joints. An abductor is some muscle in the human body that generates movement apart from or outside the body.

The anatomy and physiology of adduction are also connected. It depicts the movement of the body out towards the midline. It signifies that our body’s motions are internal. For instance, while lowering your arms down to your sides, i.e., at your shoulders. Adduction is the term used to describe the contraction that occurs. It occurs for every region of the body, including the forearms, knees, toenails, and fingers. Whenever the hands are brought closer to the wrist. It is referred to as ulnar displacement. Adductors are the muscles that perform adduction.

Comparison Table Between Abduction and Adduction

Parameters AbductionAdduction
FactorsThe abduction is carried out by abductors.The adductors are in charge of adduction.
Muscles in the thighsThe thighs are splayed out in this.The thighs are pushed inwards in this exercise.
Muscles in the armsIt occurs in the Supraspinatus and Deltoid muscles.It occurs in the pectoralis major and latissimus dorsi muscles.
Structures of AnatomyIt entails the use of short fibers.It entails the use of lengthy fibers.
Muscles of the Hand and FeetThe fingers and toes separate.The movement of the fingers and toes is coordinated.

What is Abduction?

Abduction is defined as the contraction of muscles and limbs away from the center of the body. The abduction process begins when the hands are raised upwards or hauled up to the shoulders. Abduction is shown by moving your arms laterally or separating your knees from your torso. Abductors are muscles that participate in the motion of abduction.

Radial deviation occurs when the hands are separated from the wrist and the center of the body. It is a radial styloid when the hands move apart. Abduction occurs with the movement of the hips, shoulders, ankles, fingers, vocal tract, wrist, and face. When the face moves away from the neck or expands from the midline. Abduction occurs when the fingers expand away from the midline of the feet and hands. Relaxing is in a silent condition whenever a human is not speaking. Abduction aids in the separation of the vocal tract, allowing a person can breathe freely.

When a person extends their arms and moves them far to the sides, it causes pain in the shoulder. Abduction occurs in the hips when a person elevates the legs and moves them far out to the sides. Abductions of the arms are controlled by the supraspinatus and shoulder muscles. Legs are controlled by the Gastrocnemius Muscles. In comparison to Adductors, Abductors have extremely short fibers.

What is Adduction?

Adduction is a movement that pulls the body and limbs toward the center of the body. When the toes and fingers contract, they move toward the body in the form of the adductor muscles. Unlike the abductor’s muscles, the fibers of the adductor’s muscles are greater in length. When there are lengthy fibers, it is observed that a muscle produces more force.

The forces of Adductor Magnus and Brevis are stronger. Pectoralis major interossei are responsible for finger adduction. The latissimus dorsi, which seems to be a spinal muscle in our body, is in charge of our arms. The human thighs have three major adductors that are crucial for the adduction process: adductor Longus, Magnus, and adductor Brevis. The femoral and hip bones of the legs are where all of these muscles are linked.

The adductor hallucis is in charge of the mobility of the big toe. Plantar interossei are vital for spreading toes as well. Whenever a person speaks, adduction causes the voice box to move closer together, more toward the bottom of the larynx, allowing for quicker airflow and hence, the production of sounds.

Main Differences Between Abduction and Adduction

  1. The process of abduction is controlled by the abductors’ muscles and the process of Adduction is carried out by the adductor muscles.
  2. Thighs are stretched out in abduction. The muscles are the gluteus minimus and gluteus medius. Adduction is the movement of the thigh inwards. The muscles that make up the adductors are the Brevis, Magnus, and Longus.
  3. Abduction occurs in the Supraspinatus and Deltoid muscles, which are linked towards the scapula and humerus. Adduction occurs in the shoulder girdle and the back muscle Latissimus dorsi.
  4. Abduction necessitates the use of short fibers. Adduction generates a higher force since it utilizes lengthy fibers.
  5. Abduction causes the fingers and toes to separate. Adduction involves the movement of the toes and fingers simultaneously.


The actions of abduction and adduction are caused by the anatomy of the body. Both occur from the body’s epicenter, i.e. the median or center, which is an arbitrary line created for expediency. Abduction and Adduction are performed by all appendages, ligaments, and other body components. Both are critical since they are in charge of maintaining specific anatomical postures inside the body. In layman’s terms, abduction and adduction are accountable for the contraction and relaxation of physical organs in the human body.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1051044307613086
  2. https://journals.lww.com/jbjsjournal/fulltext/2008/12000/range_of_impingement_free_abduction_and_adduction.5.aspx
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