Quadriceps Strain Information

Quadriceps Strain Information

Like any strain, a quadriceps strain can occur anytime a muscle is forced to suddenly or forcefully contract. Although strains are common injuries in contact and running sports, the strain may also occur from putting stress on muscles during everyday leisure or work-related activities, such as when lifting a heavy object, or from a direct trauma to the thigh, such as during a car accident.

 

QUADRICEPS STRAIN

Anatomy As It Relates To A Quadriceps Strain

The quadriceps are a group of strong and lean muscles located on the front of the thigh. The group is comprised of the rectus femoris at the middle of the thigh, the vastus lateralis at the outer side of the thigh, the vastus medialis at the inner side of the thigh, and the vastus intermedius at the front of the thigh. These muscles are the extensors for the knee joint, and vital to performing squatting, walking, running, and jumping motions. In fact, the quadriceps are the most powerful muscle group in the human body.

What Is A Quadriceps Strain?

A quadriceps strain is a severe abnormal stretching or tearing of one or more of the above muscles. The rectus femoris is the most often injured muscle.

What Causes A Quadriceps Strain?

As mentioned above, a strain occurs when a muscle contracts in an abnormal fashion or is injured from a direct blow to the thigh. It can also occur during repetitive stress or one time overuse of the quadriceps. Certain activities, such as jumping, kicking, and sprinting, can often cause a strain.

Grades And Symptoms Of Quadriceps Strain

The severity of a quadriceps strain is graded one through three, just as other strains are. Here are the grades and symptoms that might accompany each degree of injury:

Grade I Quadriceps Strain

Little if any tearing to the fibers of the quadriceps. There's no loss in ability to use the muscle. Symptoms for a grade 1 quadriceps strain include any of the following:

* feeling of tightness in the thigh
* soreness over the affected muscle
* tenderness when injured area is palpated
* little, if any, inflammation
* difficulty extending the knee or leg
* pain or discomfort, especially during running or walking

Grade II Quadriceps Strain

Often involves microscopic tears that may cause a slight loss of function. Symptoms for a grade II quadriceps strain include any of the following:

* may feel a sudden sharp pain at the time of injury and moderate pain thereafter
* range of motion may be limited and painful
* possible inflammation and bruising
* may not be able to fully extend the leg or completely bend the knee

Grade III strain

* often produces a sudden, sharp, and severe pain in the thigh at the time of the injury
* intense pain
* may feel a popping sensation at the time of injury
* extensive range of motion limitations; may not be able to walk without using crutches
* significant swelling
* significant bruising
* severe tenderness over the affected muscle

 

Strengthening Exercises

These Quadriceps Exercises are ideal to build strength and flexibility.

Massage Treatment

These Quadriceps Massage Techniques are of great value in pain relief; circulation stimulation; dispersing blood and fluid accumulations; swelling reduction; and relaxing muscle spasms, especially when used alongside the Sinew Therapeutics liniments and soaks.

 

ACUTE STAGE SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

 

This stage is characterized by swelling, redness, pain, and possibly a local sensation of heat, indicating inflammation. If coolness makes your pain feel better, then the Acute Stage Treatment is recommended.

 

ACUTE STAGE SYMPTOMS:

 

The acute stage starts the moment an injury occurs and lasts until the swelling and inflammation are gone. The swelling is the result of the blockage of blood, tissue fluids and circulation in the quadricep because their normal movement has been disrupted by the force of the injury. Just like cars back up behind a traffic jam, causing congestion, exhaust and overheating; blood and fluids back up behind the injured quadricep, causing pain, inflammation, lumps and swelling.

The sensation of heat is due to the warming action of the blood and fluids overheating in the injured quadricep as they back up and accumulate. Stiffness and decreased mobility are due to spasms in tendons and ligaments that have contracted reflexively beyond their normal range from the impact of the injury.

As ligaments and tendons stretch and tear, blood from ruptured blood vessels becomes trapped in the local tissues. As the trapped blood clots up, it sticks the tissues together creating adhesions. Adhesions cause pain, inflammation and restricted movement because the layers of tissue that used to slide smoothly across one another now adhere and snap which interferes with normal functioning. It is essential to break up clotted blood as quickly as possible to prevent adhesions and scar tissue from forming.

During the acute stage it is very important to restore normal circulation to the quadricep, break up clotted blood and stagnant fluids, reduce swelling, and reduce the redness and heat associated with inflammation. By restoring the flow of blood, fluids, and circulation in the quadricep, then pain is relieved, damaged tissues can regenerate with healthy functional tissue, and the quadricep can strengthen and regain it's mobility.

 

ACUTE STAGE TREATMENT:

 

1. Apply the Sinew Herbal Ice on your quadricep to reduce redness, swelling, and inflammation while dispersing accumulated blood and fluids to help restore normal circulation to the quadricep. This first-aid treatment is used in place of ice to significantly speed up the healing process. It reduces the swelling and inflammation more effectively than ice, allowing you to more quickly regain range of motion. Acute Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.

Ice is not recommended because it does not help repair damaged tissues and keeps everything in the injured area frozen, causing the stagnation of blood and fluids and the contraction of muscles, tendons and ligaments. In Chinese sports medicine ice is not used and is considered a culprit in injuries that donít heal well.

2. Massage your quadricep with Acute Sinew Liniment to relieve pain, reduce swelling and inflammation, break up clotted blood and stagnant fluids, and stimulate circulation of blood and fluids to help cells quickly repair damaged tissues. Sinew Herbal Ice can be used in-between applications.

3. The Sinew Sports Massage Oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It warms and stimulates your muscles, increases circulation and relieves tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.

 

 

CHRONIC STAGE SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

 

This stage begins once the swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness, and/or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If heat makes your pain feel better, then the Chronic Stage Treatment is recommended.


CHRONIC STAGE SYMPTOMS:

 

The chronic stage begins once the swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel aching pain and stiffness. This is because there are still accumulations of stagnant blood and fluids in your quadricep that are blocking circulation and blood supply to damaged tissues, creating residual pain, stiffness and weakness. You may actually feel hard nodules like sand in the tissue, indicating accumulation, calcification, and adhesions, which all cause pain, stiffness, and joint instability.

Your quadricep may feel more sensitive to the cold and ache in cold and damp weather due to impaired circulation. When you move your quadricep you may hear a clicking or popping sound from the tendons and ligaments slipping very slightly in and out of their natural alignment indicating weakness and joint instability, causing chronic pain and a cycle of reinjury. These symptoms are often the result of failure to treat the injury properly from the outset and overicing.

Increasing circulation and blood supply to the damaged tissues is very important in treating chronic injuries because tendons and ligaments do not have an extensive direct supply of blood. That is why chronic injuries can be slow to heal. Increasing local circulation also prevents cold and dampness from penetrating the injured area, preventing pain and stiffness.

During the chronic stage it is very important to break up remaining accumulations of blood and fluids, and increase circulation and blood supply to the damaged tissues. By increasing circulation and blood flow in the quadricep, then pain and stiffness is relieved, and the tendons and ligaments can strengthen to restore stability.


CHRONIC STAGE TREATMENT:

 

1. Massage your quadricep with Chronic Sinew Liniment to relieve pain and stiffness, strongly stimulate circulation and blood flow to damaged tissues, and promote the healing of overstretched tendons and ligaments. The Sinew Relaxing Soak can be used in-between applications.

2. Soak your quadricep with the Sinew Relaxing Soak to relax muscles and tendons that are in spasm, ease joint pain and stiffness, and improve range of motion. The Sinew Relaxing Soak is particularly useful if you feel tightness in your quadricep. The soak can be used by saturating a towel in the liquid and applying it to your quadricep. Chronic Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.

3. The Sinew Sports Massage Oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It warms and stimulates your muscles, increases circulation and relieves tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.