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Abduction vs. Adduction: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 27, 2023
Abduction is the movement of a body part away from the midline, while adduction brings it closer to the midline.

Key Differences

Abduction refers to the action of moving a limb or other part of the body away from the central line or midline of the body. On the contrary, adduction is the process of drawing a limb or another part of the body towards the central line or midline.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023
In the context of human anatomy, when you lift your arm to the side, you are performing abduction of the arm. Conversely, when you bring your arm down to your side after raising it, you are engaging in the adduction of the arm.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023
With regards to the fingers or toes, spreading them apart is considered abduction. In contrast, bringing the fingers or toes closer together, towards the center of the hand or foot, is termed as adduction.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023
Eye movements also use the terms abduction and adduction. Turning the eyes outward, away from the nose, is called abduction of the eyes. Conversely, turning the eyes inward, towards the nose, represents adduction of the eyes.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 27, 2023

Comparison Chart

Direction of Movement

Moves body part away from the midline.
Moves body part towards the midline.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023
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Example in Limbs

Raising the arm to the side.
Bringing the arm down to the side.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Example in Fingers/Toes

Spreading them apart.
Bringing them closer together.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Example in Eyes

Turning the eyes outward, away from the nose.
Turning the eyes inward, towards the nose.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Muscles involved

Typically involves muscles termed "abductors".
Typically involves muscles termed "adductors".
Aimie Carlson
Oct 27, 2023

Abduction and Adduction Definitions

Abduction

A motion that separates a structure from the central line of the body.
Spreading her fingers wide was a clear act of abduction.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023
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Adduction

The act of moving a body part in a direction parallel to its axis.
The yoga pose required significant adduction of the legs.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 27, 2023

Abduction

The lateral movement of a body segment in the coronal plane.
The dancer's graceful abduction of her arms was mesmerizing.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Adduction

A motion that draws a structure towards the central line of the body.
By pressing his fingers together, he showcased adduction.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Abduction

An outward movement, especially as applied to the limbs or eyes.
The athlete practiced abduction exercises to strengthen his shoulder muscles.
Harlon Moss
Oct 27, 2023

Adduction

An inward movement, especially pertaining to the limbs or eyes.
He focused on adduction exercises to improve his inner thigh strength.
Harlon Moss
Oct 27, 2023

Abduction

The act of moving a body part in a direction that is perpendicular to its axis.
During the exercise, the abduction of her hip was evident.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Adduction

Adduction is the movement bringing a body part closer to the midline.
After stretching, she performed adduction by bringing her arm down.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 27, 2023

Abduction

Abduction is the movement of a body part away from the body's midline.
When she raised her leg to the side, she demonstrated abduction.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 27, 2023

Adduction

The medial movement of a body segment in the coronal plane.
The gymnast's adduction of her legs allowed her to maintain balance.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Abduction

To carry off by force; kidnap.
Sumera Saeed
Sep 02, 2023

Adduction

To draw inward toward the median axis of the body or toward an adjacent part or limb.
Sumera Saeed
Sep 02, 2023

FAQs

And adduction?

It's the movement of a body part closer to the midline.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 27, 2023

How about an example of adduction?

Bringing your arm back down to your side is an example.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Do abduction and adduction only refer to arms?

No, they can refer to any body part moved away from or towards the midline.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

What's the opposite of spreading fingers apart?

Bringing the fingers together, which is adduction.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 27, 2023

How do the eyes demonstrate abduction?

By turning outward, away from the nose.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 27, 2023

And how do they demonstrate adduction?

By turning inward, towards the nose.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 27, 2023

Is abduction the same as extension?

No, abduction moves away from the midline while extension increases the angle of a joint.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Can the legs undergo abduction?

Absolutely, when you move your leg to the side, it's abduction.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

What about for adduction?

Those are termed adductors.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 27, 2023

Is adduction the opposite of abduction?

Yes, adduction and abduction are opposite movements.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 27, 2023

Is it necessary to train both abduction and adduction movements in exercise?

Yes, to ensure balanced muscle development and joint health.
Janet White
Oct 27, 2023

What does abduction mean in anatomy?

It refers to the movement of a body part away from the midline.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Can you give an example of abduction?

Yes, raising your arm to the side is an example.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Is spreading the fingers apart abduction or adduction?

It's abduction.
Harlon Moss
Oct 27, 2023

Are there muscles specifically for abduction?

Yes, they're called abductors.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

And adduction moves a body part in which direction?

Towards the body's center or midline.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Are abduction and adduction terms used in other fields besides anatomy?

Yes, but their primary association is with anatomical movements.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

What would be adduction in the context of legs?

Bringing the leg back towards the midline after moving it out.
Janet White
Oct 27, 2023

Does abduction involve moving a body part up or down?

Not necessarily, it's more about moving away from the center.
Sara Rehman
Oct 27, 2023

In terms of muscle strength, why are abduction and adduction important?

They help maintain balance, stability, and the range of motion in joints.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 27, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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