When you pull your quad muscle, you are actually partially tearing the muscle. A pulled muscle is also known as a muscle strain. The tearing could be small or it could be severe and cause internal bleeding, according to Dr. Robert Leach. A strain of the quad is caused by stress or tension that the muscle can't handle. This can happen when it is not stretched properly, too much weight bears down on it, or it is used too much. It is often caused by running or lifting weights. Generally, you will feel immediate pain in the quad, it will become tender and you may have swelling. Moving the muscle and the joints around it will cause pain.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
- Ice pack
- Pain medications
- Heat pack
Rest the muscle. Don't play sports or engage in strenuous activities until the pain has subsided.
Ice your quad and use compression and elevation. Apply an ice pack on the muscle for 15 to 20 minutes four times a day for several days, Leach recommends. Use a compress and elevate the muscle to decrease the damage and reduce swelling.
Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. They will help relieve the pain and can be bought over the counter.
Use heat after the pain has gone away and you have returned to exercise. You can apply heat before stretching.
Start light stretching once the pain has subsided. Leach recommends holding each stretch for 10 seconds and repeating six times. Repeat four times a day.
Gradually begin strengthening the quad muscle again. Do this under the advice of your doctor.
Tips and warnings
- It's best to go to the doctor to be treated for the strained muscle, unless it is a mild case. The doctor may do some tests such as an MRI or CT scan, especially for athletes.
- To prevent yourself from getting a muscle strain in your quad, make sure to keep strengthening your muscles and stretch tight muscles.
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