The quadriceps muscle consists of four muscles in front of the thigh that connects to the knee right below the knee cap. These muscles straighten the knee for walking, running, and jumping. They also help bend the knee for squatting. They move the leg forward when running and fire/transmit electrical impulses when the foot hits the ground to absorb shock. When jumping, the muscles provide stability coming down as well as when standing on one leg.
Thigh strains are common in sports. Most players are sidelined because of this injury when compared to strains in the hamstrings or groin. Factors that can increase the risk of injury include:
The quadriceps is made up of four muscles. One is the rectus femoris, which gets injured the most. It’s the only muscle that crosses two joints – the hip joint and the knee joint.
Individuals commonly report a pulling/stretching sensation in the front of the thigh. Common symptoms include:
Grades categorize the severity of the strain:
Symptoms can vary depending on the type of injury that has been sustained and the severity. There is pain and localized swelling for both strains and contusions. If muscle rupture has happened, there could be a bump/lump within the muscle or a gap in the muscle. If rupture of the Quadriceps Tendon has occurred, individuals often report hearing a pop when the injury happens. The swelling often makes straightening the leg difficult or impossible.
Thigh strains usually happen when slowing down/decelerating after a sprint. This can be because the individual takes too small or too large steps causing the muscles to overstretch, much like a rubber band that, if overstretched, tears, and if under stretched, it bunches up, which can cause spasms and tears.
In the initial stages after a quadriceps strain, it is recommended to follow the RICE Procedure for 24 hours: This includes:
After the acute stage of the injury, receiving regular chiropractic sports adjustments, physical therapy massage, coupled with strength training exercises will speed up recovery.
This workout targets the back muscles, spine and scapular stabilizers, deep abdominals, and arms. Everyday activities that require various types of pulling motion, lifting, etc., become easier. To perform:
Kary, Joel M. “Diagnosis and management of quadriceps strains and contusions.” Current reviews in musculoskeletal medicine vol. 3,1-4 26-31. 30 Jul. 2010, doi:10.1007/s12178-010-9064-5
Hillermann, Bernd, et al. “A pilot study comparing the effects of spinal manipulative therapy with those of extra-spinal manipulative therapy on quadriceps muscle strength.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 29,2 (2006): 145-9. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2005.12.003
Wenban, Adrian B. “Influence of active release technique on quadriceps inhibition and strength: a pilot study.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 28,1 (2005): 73. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2004.12.015
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The information herein on "Quadriceps Thigh Strain: Chiropractic" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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