Thigh Muscle Strain: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

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thigh muscle strain

Thigh Muscle Strain: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Our bodies are possibly the best designed system there will ever be. It weathers daily wear and tear along with regeneration of cells that cannot be repaired. Although it takes care mostly, some major injuries and strains need attention and care. Thigh muscles are subject to this kind of exertion daily, leading them to suffer strains sometimes.

There are three groups of thigh muscles – the hamstring muscles, the quadriceps and the adductor muscles. The former two, i.e., the hamstrings at the back of the thigh and the quadriceps in the front are responsible for the bending and straightening of the knee.

From experience, you must be most familiar with thigh muscle strain near the knee, back of the thigh or lower hip. That is because among the three sets of thigh muscles, quadriceps muscles responsible for bending of legs and knees are most prone to strains and injuries. The other set that is most prone are the hamstring muscles that extend all the way from the hip joint to knee joint. These are under most strain since they come into play in activities as basic as walking and running while all track events in sports demand the exertion of these muscles.

Now that we are familiar with the thigh muscles, we need to know that not all strains are of the same seriousness. When only a few muscles are strained, most common causes being running, playing, etc., it is classified as first degree muscle strain. This usually takes 1 to 2 weeks to recover with proper rest. Second degree muscle strain occurs when many muscles are strained and a little more severe than the former. This usually demands 3 to 6 weeks of rest. When a muscle fully ruptures, that is the most severe kind of muscle strain graded as third degree. This demands the necessary medical attention and up to 3 months of proper rest. 

Ergo, it is necessary to find out what muscle strain one has experienced in order to seek the right help. 

Common Symptoms

Our bodies most often show symptoms to show injuries and disorders. Paying attention to the symptoms, diagnosing the issue will help in treating it better. While the symptoms may show in several ways, we have listed a few common symptoms of thigh muscle strains below. 

1. First Degree Muscle Strain

The first one is the obvious pain that you experience right away or after the activity is over. You might also hear a popping sound and experience a muscle snapping sensation. With first degree strains, you mostly experience a sprain or tightening of muscles around the spot. Mild swelling can also be one of the symptoms of a sprain.

2. Second Degree Muscle Strain

The second degree muscle strains show through a sharp pain immediately. Usually this pain is more pronounced than that of first degree. Any form of exertion on the muscles like waking will produce such a pain. Sometimes, the spot can hurt even from touch.

3. Third Degree Muscle Strain

Rupture of the muscle like in the third grade strain shows through discolouration of the skin in the area, depression of skin and even a bruise sometimes. Internal bleeding within tissue can cause the discolouration and bruising and the pain is usually extremely sharp and sometimes unbearable.

Treatment

Although the initial treatment involves lots of proper rest followed by gradual  active remediation.

RICE Protocol

Following the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) protocol is one of the most effective ways to treat muscle strains. The treatment helps clot bleeding and swelling of the tissues.

Resting the injured spot allows the muscles to ease and relieve from the strain. Icing helps reduce inflammation of the strained muscle and the surrounding area. This is followed by bandaging the area lightly to compress it from further swelling.

Finally, rest the injured leg in an elevated position, higher than the level of heart.

Medical Help

Muscle strains that demand medical attention may involve prescription of anti-inflammatory medicines and painkillers like ibuprofen. Your doctor might even ask you to stretch and straighten out to test for injury or tenderness around the injured spot. X-rays and MRIs may be ordered in case of fractures or other severe injuries. Physiotherapy plays a significant role in helping recover for third degree muscle strains in specific. Thigh stretching and gentle resistance exercises help in aligning that scar tissues that are forming enhancing their tensile strength as well. Exercises that help strengthen, stabilize the core and pelvis, preventing further risk of hamstring injuries. 

Prevention

  1. Condition and accustom your body to a basic routine of workout that suits your body type. 
  2. Always start the workout with a warm-up session to avoid sudden cramps.Warm shorts and support against thighs help maintain the temperature 
  3. Breathe adequately and rest after workouts. 
  4. A nutritious diet that caters to all the supplements necessary is essential. Drinking a lot of fluids and replenishing carbohydrates is a must.

Epilogue

Stiffness and inflexibility make the body extremely prone to sprains and muscle strains. Thigh muscles are at most risk because of constant movement from walking, running and exercising. Herbal oils and sprays are another temporary relief solution. 

A healthy diet, routine workout, adequate rest and necessary physical therapy are some steps you can take to ensure prevention of risk of muscle strains.

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