A pulled quad muscle is painful and in severe cases, it can be debilitating. The quads, or quadriceps femoral muscles, are the four muscles that form the front of the thighs. The quadriceps is actually a group of muscles located in the front portion of thigh. This muscle group consists of the rectus femoris, quadriceps femoris, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, and vastus intermedius, which all work together to create one of the strongest muscles groups in the body.
Typically, a pulled quad muscle would be easy to recognize by the distinct pain. If the quad is torn, not only would you experience definitely pain but also, it would come on suddenly and become acute. Most often, this muscle is pulled or torn while competing in sports or doing something physical strenuous. Runners for instance can experience a pulled quad muscle if they have not stretched and warmed up properly.
Additionally, a pulled quad muscle occurs when the quadriceps and hamstring group are not balanced from a point of strength. If one group of muscles is stronger than the other group, you end up with two sets of muscles that are not used in coordination of each other. As a result, you are faced with strength imbalance. Again, this is commonly associated with runners simply because they use the hamstrings more.
Doctors recommend rest, ice, compression, and elevation for a pulled quad muscle, which becomes the acronym “RICE”. Usually, following this for a few days to a week would be enough time for the quad to recovery. If the quads become inflamed and swollen, your doctor would likely prescribe anti-inflammatory and pain medication during the recovery period.
If the pulled quad muscle is severe, it could take several weeks or even months for it to heal completely. While it might be hard to stay off the leg during this time, you need to give it time to rest. Over time, you would be able to stand on your leg without feeling pain and at that point, you could begin walking short distances to stretch the muscle. As the muscle heals, you would slowly add jogging but you want to avoid sprints or making any jerking motions while running.
If you should feel pain or discomfort after the pulled quad muscle has healed, pay attention and start the RICE process again. Usually, this means you did not provide the leg adequate time to heal but it could also be an indicator that the muscle is torn. At that point, you should talk to your doctor so anything serious could be ruled out.
Some of the rehabilitation things you can use for a pulled quad muscle include some type of heating ointment or cream. Then, you want to use both ice and heat, alternating every 15 to 20 minutes, which will help with swelling. Most importantly, a pulled quad muscle needs to be elevated so prop a few pillows beneath the leg and rest. If you need to go to work or school, you can use crutches to keep you from putting pressure on the leg during the recovery period.
Repairing Tips for a pulled quad muscle pain
When you pull your quad muscle, you are actually partially ripping your muscles. No matter what quad muscle is injured, you may experience an extreme amount of pain. It can take weeks or even months to fully recover from a quad injury, but full rehabilitation is possible, especially after a minor strain or sprain.
Here a few tips to repair your pulled muscle:
Rest the muscle. Do not exercise or engage in strenuous activities until the pain subsides.
Ice your quad muscle and use compression and elevation. Apply an ice pack to the muscle for 15 to 20 minutes four times a day for several days. Use a compress and increase the muscle to reduce the damage and reduce swelling as well.
Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. They will help relieve your muscle pain as soon as you get it. Follow the instructions of the package and consult your healthcare provider if the medication does not relieve the pain.
Heat. Use heat after the pain is gone and you have returned to exercise. You can also apply heat before stretching.
Rubbing a heat lotion. If you are having trouble sleeping, rub a heat lotion like Tiger Balm on your pulled muscle and take an aspirin to relieve the pain.
Light start stretching as soon as the pain has subsided. You have to keep repeating each stretch for 10 seconds and six times. Repeat four times a day.
Gradually begin strengthening the quad muscle again. Do this under the advice of your doctor. If the pain in your quads lasts more than 10 days, consult a doctor, as the pain may indicate a more serious illness.