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Quad Strain

A quad strain is an injury that occurs when the quadriceps, the group of muscles at the front of the thigh, are stretched beyond their limit. This can lead to tears in the muscle fibers, resulting in pain, swelling, and difficulty in moving the affected leg.

typical causes:

Quad strains are typically caused by sudden starts, stops, or changes of direction, often seen in sports like soccer, basketball, or tennis. This injury can also result from overuse due to repetitive motion, as in cycling or running. Additionally, inadequate warm-up, poor flexibility, or muscle imbalance can make the quadriceps more susceptible to strain. Unconditioned or fatigued muscles are also more likely to get injured, as they are less able to cope with the strain of exercise or sporting activities.

how physical therapy can help:

Physical therapy is instrumental in recovering from a quad strain. Initially, it may involve rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) to manage pain and swelling. As healing progresses, therapy incorporates exercises to restore flexibility, strength, and balance. Strengthening exercises help rebuild the muscle and prevent future injuries, while flexibility exercises improve range of motion. Throughout the process, the therapist provides guidance on gradual return to activities, reducing the risk of re-injury.

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exercises that may help reduce pain:

If you experience more pain with these exercises, hold off from that particular movement. 

Hip Flexor Stretch (Standing or Kneeling)  – There are two variations of this stretch – half-kneeling and standing:

  • Half Kneeling – Start by kneeling on one knee with the other foot flat on the floor in front of you, knee bent. Push your hips forward, keeping your back straight, until you feel a stretch at the front of your hip.
    Hold this position for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

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  • Standing – Start by standing with one foot forward and the other back, both feet facing forwards and hips square. Push your hips forward while keeping your back straight until you feel a stretch in the front of your hip.
    Hold this position for 30 seconds before repeating on the other side.

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Wall Sit – Start with your back flat against the wall and feet out in front of you. While keeping your back against the wall, slowly lower down into a squat position as far as you can go without experiencing quad pain. If this exercise is pain-free, lower down until your knees are bent to 90 degrees. Hold this position for up to 10 seconds. Try to do this for 10-15 reps.

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