The quadriceps are used in almost every movement we make. The active nature of the quadriceps muscles means that quad pain can be extremely debilitating. That’s why it’s important to understand the various types of quad injuries and how to avoid them.
Types of Quad Injuries
Quad injuries can be broken into two main categories: traumatic injuries and stress. Traumatic quad injuries usually occur from sports or falls. One of the most common traumatic quad injuries is a dislocated kneecap, which occurs when the quadriceps tear away from the kneecap. This usually involves surgery to repair, followed by physical therapy to regain muscle strength and control.
The most common type of quad injury is caused by stress. This can occur with increased stress load, improper training, or just from general wear and tear on the area. Stress or pulling of the quadriceps may impair normal day-to-day movement. It can even make sitting, sleeping, walking, and running very difficult.
Preventing a Quad Injury
Since the quad muscles are so important and used in almost every movement we make, we must be sure to exercise and strengthen them to avoid strains or tears.
Strengthening the hip and the knee is one of the most important things you can do to avoid quad injuries. A great way to strengthen both the hip and the knee at the same time is by performing straight leg raises. To practice, try this:
- Lie on your back.
- Bend one knee so that your leg is at a 45-degree angle.
- Keep the other leg straight on the ground.
- Lift your straight leg up about 12 inches off the ground and hold for 2-3 seconds.
- Lower the leg slowly and repeat 10 times.
- Reverse and repeat with the opposite leg.
Foam rollers are great tools when it comes to stretching muscles and relieving stress. To roll out your quads, try this:
- Place a foam roller on the ground.
- Lay on the ground face down, with the center of your quad on top of the foam roller.
- Resting on your elbows, roll your quad back and forth over the foam roller. Make sure to work your entire quads, from the top of the muscles (at the hip) to the bottom (at the knee). Do not roll over the knee or any bone.
Sometimes, try as we might, we still end up with injuries. A fall, a sports injury, or even a wrong twist when getting up off the ground can cause a painful injury. If you’re dealing with nagging quad pain, come to Airrosti. Our trained staff will take the time to pinpoint the root cause of your pain and develop a personalized treatment plan to help you get back on your feet. At the first sign of pain, schedule an Airrosti appointment, where we’ll eliminate your pain quickly so that you can get back to doing what you love.