How do I Treat a Pulled Quadricep?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 21 July 2018
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There are a few basic steps that can be taken to treat a pulled quadricep muscle. In most cases, the person should rest the injured muscle, ice the pulled quadricep, compress it with a tightly wrapped bandage, and then elevate the leg that is affected with the pulled muscle. After the first 48 hours have passed, it may be helpful to apply a heat pack to the pulled quadricep area. Some people may also find it helpful to treat the injury with a cream or ointment that is infused with peppermint, eucalyptus, clove, or cinnamon oil.

When an injury such as a pulled quadricep muscle occurs, it is generally best to rest the leg immediately. By not continuing to participate in whatever activity that caused the injury, it can prevent more serious damage from happening to the four leg muscles that make up the quadriceps. After resting for a short period of time, ice should be applied to the affected muscle.

During the first 48 hours after the injury, it is usually recommended to ice the pulled quadricep to help keep swelling down. Typically, the area should be iced in 20 minute intervals, giving the skin a chance to reach room temperature again between intervals. In addition, the ice pack should be wrapped in a cloth, so that the skin does not become raw or injured from the cold.


The pulled quadricep muscle may also be wrapped with a compression bandage. There are some bandages that are specifically designed for a strained quadricep muscle. The compression bandage should be left on the leg for about two days. In addition, a non-prescription pain reliever, such as ibuprofen, may help ease the pain.

By resting and elevating the leg, the pulled quadricep muscle may heal quicker. It is often recommended that the injured area be elevated above the heart. So, in the case of the quadriceps, it is best to recline, and then prop the leg up on several pillows. Many people find that by elevating the leg above the heart for about a day, swelling is greatly reduced.

After the first 48 hours passes, some doctors recommend applying a heat pack to the injured muscle. As in the case of icing the leg, the heat pack should be applied in 20 minute intervals, letting the skin reach room temperature between each interval. The heat pack also should be wrapped in a cloth to prevent the skin from burning. At this time, the person can usually begin to slowly stretch the affected area.

Some creams and ointments may help relieve the symptoms of the pulled quadricep as well. For example, creams that contain peppermint or eucalyptus may feel hot and may relieve pain. Other creams may work to relax the muscle. These creams can be purchased at drugstores, online, or even made at home using essential oils. If the injured quadricep does not feel better after a few days, a doctor or medical practitioner may need to be consulted.


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