Treating Thigh Injuries
“The stretching of a muscle exceeding its limit, leads to muscle tears during some sport activities and the rupturing of the muscle in the thigh is called a thigh strain”
There are three major groups of muscles that constitute the thigh – quadriceps present in front of the leg, adductors in the middle of the leg an hamstrings that are behind the leg. The quadriceps are present at the front of the thigh and are responsible for straightening the knee. Generally, the stretching of a muscle exceeding its limit, leads to muscle tears during sport activities like football or running. Rupturing of the muscle in the thigh is called a thigh strain. And based on the severity, it is categorized under three grades of muscle strain.
- The first degree of strain means damage of some fibres of the muscle.
- The second degree of strain refers to damage of many fibres of the muscle.
- The third degree of strain involves damage of the total muscle.
Causes Of Thigh Strain
- Muscle injuries
- Sports injuries (football, basketball)
- Muscle tightness
- Muscle imbalance
- Inadequate rehabilitation post thigh injury
- Direct blow to the muscle
- Improper warm up and cool down pre and post exercise or sports
Signs And Symptoms
Strain of the Thigh (Grade 1)
The symptoms are not seen until the action is done and there is slight pain when the muscle is contracted or stretched.
Strain Of The Thigh (Grade 2)
Pain is relatively more serious and there is tenderness and soreness at the site of injury. Swelling is usually present and there is a sense of difficulty in even being able to do daily activities.
Strain Of The Thigh (Grade 3)
There is total tears of the muscle fibres causing a serious injury. There is severe burning pain along with difficulty in walking. At the site of the injury, a depression may be found below the swelling of the tissue. Bruising is also present on the site of injury.
Following the RICE protocol is the treatment that needs to be implemented immediately. The tour-step process is to reduce pain and swelling and to even reduce the damage under the tissues and bleeding.
- Rest: Activities causing strain should be avoided and rest should be taken.
- Ice: Use ice packs for 10-15 minutes multiple times a day.
- Compression: To reduce swelling, cover the injured area with a compression bandage.
- Elevation: To reduce swelling, keep the leg elevated at a level higher than the heart.
The later stages involve strengthening of the thigh muscles and the following are a few exercises to strengthen the thigh muscles:
Isometric Quadriceps Exercise
Sit down and extend both legs so that your toes are pointing up towards the ceiling and place a towel roll below your knee. Press the knee down on the towel so as to contract the thigh muscles and now hold this contraction for 10 seconds and relax. Repeat.
Straight Leg Raise
Lie down on your back with both your legs extended and now raise the injured leg eight inches off the floor and hold for 10 seconds and relax. Repeat.
Place your feet and legs, so that the knees and feet are at the same height. Your weight should be equally distributed on the heel of the feet and then press out on the quadriceps press table and hold the position for 10 seconds and relax. Repeat.
Stand with one foot away from the wall with your knees hip-width apart and point your feet slightly outwards. Slide your back on the wall and slowly lower, downwards and then come up. Repeat. Since stretching the muscles help in improving flexibility of the same, the following stretches should be done regularly.
Place your leg on a chair so that toes are pointing towards the ceiling. Lean forward and try to reach your knee until you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and relax. Repeat.
Stand on one foot and hold the back of the chair to balance. Pull your heel towards your back until you feel a strong stretch in front of the thigh and hold the stretch for 10 seconds. Repeat.
- Any sport or workout should be preceded by a warm up. It must be a regular practice.
- Post a sport or workout, the body should be given adequate recovery time and thus a proper cool down is required.
- Exercising regularly helps prevent muscle strain and helps maintain flexibility and strength of the muscle.
- Complete the entire rehabilitation program before returning to your sport to prevent complications and re-injury.
This is helpful post muscle Injuries as it increases blood flow to the muscles thereby, speeding up the healing process and also improving flexibility.