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Quadricep Strain

What is Quadriceps (thigh) Strain?

The quadriceps muscle group (front of the thigh) is comprised of four muscles: rectus femoris, vastus medialis (VMO), vastus lateralis (VL) and vastus intermedius. Accelerating with force or kicking with a shortened kicking action is a common way to tear the quadriceps. Quadricep strain can come on suddenly often when over striding or when the muscle has to break suddenly. Quadricep strain can seem to tighten or build up over a period of time due to fatigue or weakness. Often there may be associated back, hip or pelvic problems that underpin your Quadriceps injury. An experienced practitioner can determine what is contributing to your quadricep injury to ensure you receive the best management and have an outlined plan for your full recovery. Untreated quadriceps pain can lead to reoccurring injury as well as prolong recovery time.

How long will it last?

An acute simple Quadricep Strain can settle and return to sport if a concerted program has been completed over  4 weeks. If your Practitioner finds that there are contributing factors from your hip or spine then recovery may take longer and a program may need to be followed for your sporting season. Resting Quadricep Strain without a specific strengthening/running conditioning program may lead to re injury. Returning to kicking too soon may lead to a re injury. You can return to running before you can kick.


The symptoms of Quadricep Strain are:

  • Sudden sharp pain at the front of the thigh.
  • Immediate loss of power but can often continue running to some degree.
  • Pain with walking in the acute phase. This should ease within the week with treatment.
  • Increasing pain and ‘tightness’ if bending your knee.

Suggestions for managing Quadricep Strain

  • Icing in the acute stage and after your rehabilitation / Quadricep training program.
  • Quadricep exercise programs can commence within the first 72 hours of your injury. Depending on the severity of your injury light jogging can commence early. Cross training is recommended within the first week and our Exercise Physiology Department provides an onsite Injury Clinic Exercise Program.
  • Your practitioner may refer you to a Sports Physician for further investigations if your Quadricep Strain does not respond in our suggested time frames.

Professional treatment options

Contact us now for immediate advice regarding Quadricep Strain.