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Quadriceps and Hamstring Problems

Quadriceps injuries

The front of the thigh is the site of common sporting injuries such as quadriceps muscle contusion (local damage to the muscle with resultant bleeding, usually results from a direct blow to the muscle) and strain of the quadriceps muscle. The site of pain is usually well localized in cases of contusion or muscle strain. Muscle strains occur in the mid belly of the muscle. Contusions (or cork thigh) occur anywhere in the quadriceps muscle. A muscle strain usually occurs with an increase in running speed or extra distance kicking. A sudden pain is felt in the front of the thigh. There is local pain and tenderness and, if the strain is severe swelling and bruising. If the pain is variable and not clearly localized and if specific aggravating factors are lacking, it may be referred pain. Referred pain may arise from the hip joint, the sacroiliac joint, the lumbar spine and neural structures.

Treatment - Muscle strains and contusions are treated in much the same way. Management includes minimization of bleeding and swelling. Subsequent treatment is aimed at the restoration of full range of movement and strength through massage therapy, stretching and a progressive muscle strengthening programme with the result in return to all activities.

Hamstring Injuries

Hamstring muscle strains are common injuries among sprinters, hurdlers and long jumpers. They also occur in other sports involving sprinting specifically. There is a tendency towards increased incidence with increasing age.

Treatment - The effective management of pain in the hamstring area (posterior thigh) is dependent upon correct diagnosis. Initially the therapist must diagnose whether the injury to the posterior thigh is a muscle strain or pain referred from elsewhere so that appropriate treatment can be carried out. Initially ice and compression are applied. Stockport Physio implore quite an intensive functional rehabilitation programme commencing running as soon as possible.

Other Problems

Hamstring Tendinopathy - Tendinopathy of the hamstring may occur at the origin or the insertion of the hamstring muscle group. Both present with the typical inflammatory pattern of warming up with activity and an increase in pain post activity. Tenderness is elicited over the tendon with associated thickening. It can be associated with repetitive sprinting and instability of pelvic mechanics.

Ischial bursitis - Ischial bursitis presents with pain when sitting on hard surfaces. The two aforementioned conditions do not significantly limit the performance of a running athlete however, they can be quite annoying.

Ultimately these conditions require sufficient rest and adequate rehabilitation.

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