Quadriceps Strain – A forceful stretch or tear of the muscle or tendon in a weight bearing muscle such as the quadriceps (front of thigh) is painful and difficult to rest. The quadriceps are involved in supporting the hip and knee. A quadriceps strain can result from a forceful contraction of the quads or unusual stress placed on the muscles. It is graded from 1 through to 3, with 3 being the most severe tear.
A Quadriceps Strain may occur in any of the quadriceps muscles but the rectus femoris is most commonly injured. The force generated in activities such as sprinting, jumping and weight training may cause microtears of the muscles. When the muscle is stretched forcefully under a load as in high impact sports such as football and hockey it may also pull away from the muscle-tendon junction or completely tear.
Cause of Quadriceps Strain
Forceful contraction or stretch of the quadriceps.
Signs and Symptoms of Quadriceps Strain
Grade 1: mildly tender and painful. Little or no swelling. Full muscular strength
Grade 2: more pain and tenderness. Moderate swelling and possible bruising. Noticeable loss of strength.
Grade 3: extreme pain. Deformity, swelling and bruising. Inability to contract muscle.
Immediate Treatment of Quadriceps Strain
Rice (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) procedure. Immobilisation in severe cases then heat and massage to promote blood flow and healing.
Rehab and Prevention
After the required rest period, activities should be resumed cautiously. Avoid activities that cause pain. Stretching and strengthening exercises for the quadriceps will be necessary. Ensuring a balance between strength of the quadriceps and the hamstrings is important to prevent a further strain.
Long Term Prognosis
Quadriceps strains rarely result in long term pain or disability. Surgery is only needed in rare cases where a complete tear does not respond to immobilisation and rest.
The Optimal Sports Therapy Centre is located in Basingstoke, Hampshire and is ideally placed for travel from Basingstoke, Hook, Fleet, Hartley Whintney, Camberley, Farnborough, Aldershot, Andover, Overton, Whitchurch, Newbury or Reading.