T Nation

Quad Injury Rehab?


#1

Anyone suffered an upper quad injury, most likely a rectus femoris strain or tear that may know some rehab exercises or protocols for it? I've taken the last 7 weeks off of any quad work other then stretching and bodyweight squats trying to work through any strain/partial tears. I can't go see a doctor (no insurance), and am too broke for anything expensive. So if anyone has any links or info regarding how I can rehab it other then just basic RICE protocol I'd greatly appreciate it.


#2

I tore my quad (Grade 2) about 3 years ago. I’ve now surpassed my previous back squat numbers. It takes a while to heal and frankly I still have mental battles with myself about stepping under a heavy (for me) barbell.

The very best things I did for it were taking time off (as you seem to have done), and then single leg squat variations: Bulgarian split squats, step-ups, etc. I made/make sure I went through a full ROM rather than just trying to load the bar up.

I’m not a doctor; just thought I ought to mention that.


#3

Use a foam roller/massage tool on the area before and after training to reduce adhesions. Use higher reps for your therapy, but occasionally drop the volume down every so often if fatigue is setting in. Only do the exercises that you can tolerate, but stick with light loads. Remember, for every bad rep, it takes multiple reps of correct form to heal an injury(assuming it was exercise related).

And lasty, focus on sleeping well and eating like a horse. Recovery is just as important as exercise, and neglecting that will keep you in pain longer than you want to.


#4

Hard to say without seeing you, but here’s some advice and 3 good rehab exercises for hip flexors/quads.

Firstly, you can lie on the ground, or wherever, with your leg out straight and place something like a rolled up towel or padding under your knee. What you want to do is press down into the pad and hold this for 3-5 seconds. Ideally you want to do this to an intensity of about a 6/7 out of 10, and look to repeat 6-10 times, 1-2 sets. Repeat 3-4x per week.

Another exercise is to do a simple wall squat (with out without a ball to aid movement), squat down to 90 degrees knee flexion, place both fists between knees, squeeze and hold for 2-3 seconds, then stand back up. Repeat similar to above.

Isolated Hip Flexion Work. Lie on your back with the leg you want to train fully extended. Bend the other leg up (foot flat on floor) for a bit of stability. What you want to do is take your leg out about 20-30 degrees to the side of your body (abduction), ROTATE IT so your toes are facing outwards (external rotation), then slowly lift your leg up from the floor to around a 60-70 degree angle, pause, then lower it back down (KEEPING THE LEG EXTERNALLY ROTATED AND ABDUCTED the whole time). You can add pauses and holds in to strengthen the deep hip flexors as much as you like. Again, aim for around 6-8 reps per leg, 2-3 sets, 3-4 times per week. This can be progressed using a cable machine and appropriate attachment on the end of the leg.

If you can handle these exercises fine already, progress into step-ups and basic squat-type progressions.

If these 3 exercises above target areas where you are feeling it, do them for 2-4 weeks and see how you go. There’s nothing wrong with cycling/stepper/crosstrainer type movements to facilitate getting the leg back into good shape for the big work.

Just be patient and take your time.


#5

Try soaping up and knuckling in to the injured area in the shower, again the ideas to break down the adhesions. Then give it some good stretching.


#6

Try soaping up and knuckling in to the injured area in the shower, again the ideas to break down the adhesions. Then give it some good stretching.


#7

If you’ve still got scar tissue to break down another fun idea (like the soap and knuckle and roller pads) is to use a can of coke or something similar, roll it in deep then up and down the affected area.


#8

Also, since its a quad strain its quite easy to use your thumbs on it while sitting at the computer etc, gives you more frequency without inconvenience.

I second high rep step ups and body weight squats when you can handle them. For a low-grade strain, where you don’t really swell noticeable or can’t feel a hole in the muscle, you could probably go straight for the body weight exercises and skip the isolation work.


#9

Thanks for all the replies. I’ve been foam rolling for about 2 weeks and although it hurts like a bitch, it’s all I can really do. I’m pretty sure I hurt it originally squatting. Oddly enough squatting still hurts, rowing does not (rowing as in the sport on the water and on the ergometer). I’m debating if it is a quad injury or a possible groin/hip flexor due to this.