Pulled Quadriceps Home Treatments
Patient education and self-management are very important in recovering from a quadriceps injury or pulled quadriceps muscle.
Wearing appropriate athletic and/or regular shoes with significant arch support and motion control will help protect your feet. It is recommended that you avoid flat shoes and/or walking barefoot whenever possible.
Once the pain from your quadriceps strain starts to decrease, a physiotherapist or athletic trainer can set up an individualized strengthening, endurance and stretching exercise program for you to rebuild your quadriceps, as well as your hamstrings and other lower body muscles. A gradual build-up to your regular activities is essential during your rehabilitation to restore strength, fitness and co-ordination. Generally you will start with passive range of motion and isometric exercises (strength building exercises that involve contractions against resistance without moving your joints). Once you complete these with minimal pain, you will be able to participate in more dynamic movements and strengthening activities (like leg extensions, leg presses, squats, lunges, elastic tube exercises, water exercises, stationary cycling, walking, elliptical training, retro-movements [walking or stepping backwards on a treadmill or stair climber] and/or weight training). When tenderness is gone and you are able to fully tense the quadriceps without any pain, you can gradually return to jogging or higher impact activities for short periods of time. It is important to stop if you feel any twinges of pain.
Aggressive stretching (yoga) too soon may stress your quadriceps muscles and cause more aggravation. However, gentle stretching of your quadriceps will be essential to regain normal tissue flexibility and prevent against scar tissue development (straight leg seated or standing stretching). Daily stretching (a few times a day) in which you hold stretches for 15 - 30 seconds each is recommended once you are ready. Use pain as your guide whether you are ready to move on to the next level or not.
Avoidance of aggravating activities (any activity that involves repeated bouncing movements or "stops and starts") and activity modification (pursuing less strenuous, weight bearing routines) are recommended. It is suggested that you start at 50% of what you would normally do, and increase gradually as you see improvement in your condition. Warm up and cool down, including massaging your leg after your activity. Individuals will often exercise or lift weights on their own to try and build up their strength; however in doing so, they can do more damage. A medical or fitness professional will help to ensure your rehabilitation process is effective. For best, long-term results use Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ in conjunction with an exercise program.
To increase your comfort and prevent further damage you may want to use an upper thigh support (neoprene sleeve or brace, strapping, tape, compression short or warm up pants) which will help support the area, eliminate pulled muscles, and reduce stress on the injured tissue. Some of these are also designed for heat retention to prevent further strain. Braces can be used until your injury is gone or during active sports for additional stability. However they should not be worn at all times, as they can limit muscle development, cut off circulation and impede healing of your muscle tissue.
Evaluate how you use your thigh muscles in daily activities to determine if you can decrease stress on your tissues. This may involve changing your technique and/or using correct or supportive equipment (proper shoes, mobility aids) to help you perform them more effectively and safely. Taking more frequent breaks during your work or activities can also alleviate stress. Speak with an occupational therapist or a professional in your specific activity or work setting to get the proper information.