Preventing Quadriceps Injuries
It is always better to prevent quadriceps injuries rather than try to fix them after they happen, however that is not always the situation. A quadriceps strain can be difficult to prevent as your major symptoms may start long after you've had the condition. In any case, there are a number of things you can do to keep yourself healthy and prevent further damage.
Maintain a strong and proper posture, and wear proper footwear and gear for your activity. This will ensure your body is properly aligned, and will prevent against slouching or bad form which will make you more prone to injury. Your equipment should be comfortable and provide enough padding (knee or thigh pads), and your shoes should provide sufficient sole stiffness and arch support.
Avoid doing too much to soon to give your body an opportunity to build up its endurance. This is especially important when participating in a new activity. Gradually increase your participation to prevent overstraining your muscles.
Always warm up your muscles (especially your leg muscles) before working them to prepare your body and to raise your body temperature (15-20 minutes is the recommended time). Recovery from your activity can be enhanced by doing a cool down to lower your body temperature and relax your muscles.
Always learn the proper form and techniques for your activity to help prevent injuries.
If you are suffering from quadriceps pain, listen to your body and decrease, modify and/or avoid any activities or motions that cause pain and irritation (quick stopping/starting, turning, running or jumping, as well as participating on uneven terrain). Also, train on a variety of surfaces. If you are required to perform these motions at work or play and cannot avoid them, make sure you take frequent breaks and rest to prevent fatigue and pain.
To stabilize your quadriceps, and increase your range of motion, maintain and build your strength, stability and flexibility of your quadriceps as well as your hamstrings, IT band, lower leg, gluteal, pelvis, low back and core body muscles. Light weights, exercise bands and balls are very beneficial for strengthening your lower body. Procioceptive training (core balance training) and plyometrics (exercises to develop strength, speed and agility, such as jumping or bounding movements) are also an excellent addition to your exercise routine. Yoga, tai chi, or a daily stretching routine will help to keep your muscles and joints supple (avoid sudden twisting and turning motions).
A regular exercise program that focuses on total body fitness and includes low-impact aerobic activity at least 3 days per week, such as walking, swimming or biking will help to keep you healthy overall and will strengthen your body to prevent against further quadriceps injuries.
Proper food and fluid intake prior to and/or during activities will ensure you have enough energy and will help to prevent against fatigue. Ensure you avoid dehydration which can lead to muscle cramping. Weight loss and/or weight maintenance involves eating a balanced diet full of protein, complex carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants which will help support a healthy system. If you gain just 10 pounds, your joints must bear from 25 up to 100 pounds extra, which can add unnecessary stress to your body. Limiting your caffeine, alcohol and nicotine consumption will also improve your health.
Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ can be performed at home with an Inferno Wrap®. If you have symptoms or are recovering from a quadriceps injury, using Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ on a regular basis before your activity or throughout the day will help relax your hamstring muscles, tendons and tissues, and prepare you for action, reduce scar tissue, and help diminish pain and inflammation.
If you suffer from mild inflammation or pain after certain activities or movements use cold compression therapy when you complete the activity and then rest and elevate your leg. You can also use analgesic or anti-inflammatory medication for pain relief if required. If you have been given a treatment plan by your health professional, make sure you adhere to it to ensure pain free living. In general, people who are committed to their therapies and exercises will have the best medical outcomes.