Are you a runner, cyclist or walker? At Entegra Health, many active Remedial Massage clients present with leg tension related soft tissue concerns. Whilst these are fantastic ways to reduce stress and increase cardiovascular health, tension resulting from these activities may also contribute to a variety of muscular discomfort in the leg muscles.
Where Are the Quadricep Femoris Muscles?
As the name suggests, the Quadricep Femoris muscles (Quads) comprise four muscle groups that originate in the hip and femur in the front of the thigh, and attach to the tibia (large shin bone) beneath the Patella (knee). The Quads cross both the hip and knee joints, and are therefore often associated with tension and/or dysfunction at either site.
What Are the Functions of the Quad Muscles?
The Quads are responsible for extension of the legs, and flexion of the knee for activities including walking, running and cycling. The Quads function in conjunction with the Gluteal (buttock) muscles, Iliopsoas and Tensor Fascia Latae (Hip Flexors), Hamstrings (large muscles behind the upper leg) and Adductors (muscles located along the inner thigh) to perform these functions. The Quad muscles are also responsible for rotation of the hips, in association with the Gluteal and Hip Flexor muscles.
What Tension Related Problems Can Occur in the Quads?
At Entegra Health Parkville, common tension related conditions of the Quads may include: muscular tension throughout the Quad muscles, and reduced range of motion and/or pain in the hip or knee. Other common symptoms associated with acute Quad and adductor tension, may include lower back pain. These conditions may create further musculoskeletal imbalances, such as due to consequently walking with a limp.
Common aggravating factors associated with Quad tension may include:
- Repeated use causing strain, due to overuse of Quad muscles
- Weak Gluteal muscles
- Tight Hip Flexors due to sitting for prolonged periods
- Increase in Quad weight bearing loads (i.e weighted squats)
How Can I Reduce Lower Back Muscular Tension?
At Entegra Health, we highly recommend consulting your Remedial Massage therapist during your treatment (or via a Telehealth appointment), to determine the most appropriate treatment management plan for you. Common management plans may include a combination of regular Remedial Massage treatments, and self care options including stretches and/or strengthening programs, to effectively reduce general muscular tension of the Quad muscles between Remedial Massage treatments.
Many simple stretches exist to effectively lengthen and reduce tension in the Quads (see Entegra Health stretch library). Stretching the Quad muscles may also assist in the reduction of tension in the hips, knees and lower back (lumbar) spine.
Strengthening | Quadricep Stretch
Strengthening the Quads is important to effectively support stabilization of the pelvis, hips, knees and legs. Exercises to strengthen the Quad muscles include squats and resistance based training including leg extensions with a theraband, or free weights.
For further information regarding Remedial Massage, or treatment options, please contact us via email. Access to free online resources including stretch and exercise video resources can also be found on our website.