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|The Quadriceps Muscles|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Suddenly putting stress on the quadriceps when the muscle is not ready for the stress
- Using the quadriceps too much on a certain day
- Experiencing a blow to the quadriceps
- Doing a strenuous quadriceps activity
- Sports that require bursts of speed or sudden twists and turns, such as running, jumping, basketball, orfootball
- Tight quadriceps
- Cold weather
- Previous quadriceps injury
- Pain and tenderness in the front of the thigh
- Stiffness and swelling in the quadriceps
- Weakness of the quadriceps
- Bruising on the front of the thigh—if blood vessels are broken
- Popping or snapping sensation as the muscle tears—rare
- Tenderness and/or bruising directly over the quadriceps
- Pain or weakness when contracting the quadriceps, particularly against resistance
- Grade 1—Some stretching with micro-tearing of muscle fibers
- Grade 2—Partial tearing of muscle fibers
- Grade 3—Complete tearing of muscle fibers. This may also be called a rupture or avulsion.
- Rest—Activities may need to be restricted in the first few weeks. Normal activities will be gradually reintroduced as the injury heals to avoid making things worse.
- Ice—Ice therapy may help relieve swelling in the first few hours after the injury. Heat or cold may be recommended throughout recovery if they provide benefits.
- Compression—Compression bandages can provide gentle pressure to help move fluids out of the area.
- Elevation—Keep the leg elevated to help fluids drain out or to prevent fluids from building up.
- Keep your quadriceps muscles strong so they can absorb the energy of sudden physical stress.
- Learn the proper technique for exercise and sporting activities. This will decrease stress on all your muscles, including your quadriceps.
- Warm up and stretch before vigorous activity.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2016
- Update Date: 09/30/2013