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Abduction vs. Adduction: Basic Difference between Adduction vs. Abduction


Abduction vs. adduction! In biomechanics and in medicine, the pair abduction vs. adduction can cause a lot of confusion. Both of these words describe the movement of body parts, but the one refers to the movement towards, while the other refers to the movement away from the body’s centerline. As these words differ by a single letter, it is often very difficult to tell which is which. Read on to sort out this difference and to never confuse these two words in the future.

Abduction vs. Adduction

ABDUCTION is the movement away from the body’s midline, while ADDUCTION is the movement towards the centerline of the body.

One example of abduction is when someone swings their arms up to the shoulder or higher. The movement of knees away from the center, as well as spreading the fingers away from the centerline of the hand can be called abduction as well. All these motions are created by certain muscles that are called abductors.

With adduction, everything is completely the opposite. For instance, if someone has their arms wide open and now brings them back to the sides of their body, this is adduction. Bringing the fingers together, closer to the center of the hand is an example of adduction as well. All the muscles that cause these actions to happen can be referred to as adductors.

A good example that helps understand abduction and adduction is the eyes. When they are normal and not cross-eyed and the person wants to look to the left, the right eye moves towards the center of the face, while the left eye moves away from it. Therefore, the right eye is adducted, and at the same time, the left eye is abducted.

Tips for Using Abduction vs. Adduction

How do you remember the difference? Think about it this way: abduction can also refer to what happens if aliens arrive and take you with them on their spaceship. So, abduction has to do with moving away. If you keep this in mind, you’ll have no problem figuring out which word to use in the context of medicine or biomechanics.

Adduction vs. Abduction: What’s the Difference? | Image

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Basic Difference between Adduction vs. Abduction

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