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Quad Strain: What To Do If You Experience The Injury?

Posted by Simon Bowman on December 17, 2020

If you love sports, go to the gym, or an athlete, you might have already experienced a pulled quadriceps. This is not as common as other injuries, but this injury usually happens amongst middle-aged people, who play sports or do sets of exercises that involve running and jumping.

The Quadriceps strain, also known as quad strains, can range from minor pain to a major setback- all dependent on the severity of the strain on the quadriceps or tear. A pulled quad is usually treatable with some rest, medication, and putting ice on the aching part.

Where can you find your Quadricep muscles?

Your Quadriceps is a group of muscles that is in front of the thigh. It umbrellas four separate muscles:

  1. Vastus medialis: an extensor muscle located medially in the thigh that extends the knee.
  2. Vastus lateralis: a muscle in the thigh, the largest and most powerful part of the quadriceps femoris.
  3. Vastus intermedius: arises from femur’s front and lateral surfaces, in its upper two-thirds, under the Rectus femoris muscle and from the lower part of the lateral intermuscular septum.
  4. Rectus femoris: It is a bulk of muscle located in the superior, anterior middle compartment of the thigh and is the only muscle in the Quadriceps group that crosses the hip.

Each of this Vastus muscle is from the femur bone, attached to the patella or the kneecap.

What is the common cause of Quadricep muscles’ injuries?

Quadriceps assists in extending the knee. Since these muscles are used for running, jumping, squatting, walking, and other physical activities that use your feet, the Quadriceps are prone to injuries and that includes strains, tears, and even raptures.

What are the symptoms of Quadricep muscles’ injuries?

The quadriceps, when injured, can range from mild to severe tear. The symptoms of the injury may include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Loss of strength
  • Difficulty in moving the affected leg

How can Quadricep muscles’ injuries be treated?

Quadricep Muscle Strain Injury

When you're experiencing pain in the Quad area during exercise or while playing sports, it is best to stop immediately and seek medical help. Avoid all activities that may involve your lower body like running, jumping, lunges and squats.

A rehabilitation program is a major part in the healing process.

When your Quad is strained, the rehabilitation program should include exercises that will work the muscles in performing its functions.

Here are the top 3 exercises that you can do:

  • Squat Control: Lunges, squats, and step ups are all great for Quad strains.
  • Hip Flexion: Stand on your uninjured leg. With a resistance band tied around your ankle, flex your hip in an upward slow motion, then release back down.
  • Knee Extension: A gym’s leg extension machine is ideal for this exercise. However, as an alternative, a resistance band in the ankle will still do. While sitting down, extend your injured knee against the resistance band.

Anyone’s Quad’s rehab programme will look similar during the early phase of rehab. But, in the later phase, it is crucial that the activities become sport specific.

For instance, if you are a football player, the goal is to be able to once again kick a ball. The exercise should be towards training the Quad to do just that. Here, a chain knee extension is the most beneficial.

The repair phase is 72 hours to 6 weeks depending on the range of the injury. It is at this period that your tissues will start rebuilding. You will know that your Quad is healed when you no longer feel pain in the area and you can move your leg with ease.

If you need more help about Quad strains or any other sports injuries, you can reach out to me and we’ll talk about how we can best plan your healing.

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