Symptoms of Pulled Quad Muscle: Tips for Quick Recovery

Quadriceps is group of muscles located in front part of the thigh. Anatomically there are four quadriceps muscles in each side of thigh. All the muscles are attached to the tibia bone. On its top end, the muscles are attached to the femur bone or the thigh bone. The muscles play important role in movement of knee joint as well as routine walking and running.

Quadriceps is skeletal muscles and it comprises of fibers. Contraction of these fibers can facilitate easy joint movement as well as daily walking and running activities. As they play vital role in regular physical activity in day to day life, the quads are prone to get pulled and stressed. Overstretching, injury, inadequate warm up during exercise all can lead to pulled muscles. Depending on the grade of injury, symptoms can be mild to severe pain, swelling, loss of strength and difficulty in walking. Treatment is conservative and consists of rest, warm and cold application, massage, magnesium and calcium supplements, and lastly physical therapy as the pain reduces. Recovery is complete and may take 1 week to 6 weeks.

Causes of Pulled Quads

There are several causes that may be responsible for pulling of quadriceps as they are involved actively in walking and regular daily activity.

  • Too much use of quadriceps or exertion can strain the muscles to an extent that they become fatigued. They contract irregularly as a result of fatigue which can lead to pulling.
  • Deficiency of calcium and magnesium can increase the risk of muscle pulling, which also includes quadriceps.
  • Muscle fibers are prone to be overstretched if they become suddenly active due to jerks and inappropriate movement of the body.
  • Improper stretches or lack of warm up before exercise can strain and stretch quadriceps muscles.
  • When your hip or knee joint is injured, the motion dynamic changes. Such changes can pull the quadriceps.

Symptoms of Pulled Quads

Following are important symptoms of pulled or strained quadriceps:

  • Pain in front or back of the thigh. Pain is acute and increases gradually with routine activity such as walking.
  • Tenderness in thigh region
  • Swelling in the painful area of thigh.
  • Person limps while walking.
  • Person experiences pain while extending his knee joint.

Treatment of Pulled Quads

Pulled quads usually heal soon. Since there is mild to moderate inflammation in the muscle fibers, anti-inflammatory medicine is used to alleviate the acute pain. Besides pain killers or anti inflammatory medicines, home remedies are beneficial.

  • Rest: Give some rest to the affected leg.
  • Apply alternate warm compresses over the affected area as it hastens the healing of inflamed muscles. Warm compresses increase the blood circulation in the injured area. Thus it helps to repair the muscles quickly.
  • Homeopathic medicines are valuable for treating pulled muscles due to injury. Homeopathic medicines that are effective in hastening the helaing process include Arnica, Rhus Tox, Ruta, Hypericum.
  • Magnesium and calcium play vital role in contraction of muscles. Hence take supplements that contain calcium and magnesium
  • Turmeric is a natural anti inflammatory remedy. Take a pinch of turmeric powder in a spoon. Add one teaspoon of honey to it. Mix it well. Take this mixture two times in a day for few days. You can also add one teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk. Take this two times in a day.
  • Once the acute pain is gone, start physical training exercises slowly as directed by the doctor. Simple flexion and extension exercise daily for few days will help to strengthen the quads.

If your quads get frequently pulled, follow these tips:

  • Warm up exercise is essential before starting rigorous exercise.
  • Include in your diet foods that are densely packed with magnesium, calcium and several other vital minerals and vitamins. They all help to strengthen your muscles. Avoid processed food and refined products.