31 Oct Foam rolling for quadriceps
Considered to be one of the strongest and leanest muscles of the human body, the quadriceps is a group of four muscles that are located on the thigh anterior, extending down towards your kneecap. The quadriceps consists of the femoris, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis and vastus intermedius.
The longest of the quadriceps muscles is the rectus femoris. Starting its connection at the iliac crest of the pelvis, this muscle proceeds down the front of the thigh and initiates its attachment at the top of the kneecap via the quadriceps femoris tendon. The vastus medialis, vastus lateralis and vastus intermedius attach to the top of the thigh bone and extend down towards the knee cap, connecting via the quadriceps tendon and patella retinaculum. The quadriceps tendon advances over the knee cap where it connects to the patellar tendon and forms an insertion into the tibial tuberosity (beneath the knee on the shin anterior).
The quadriceps is the only extensor of the knee joint, therefore it plays a key role in every movement involving the legs – walking, running, climbing stairs etc. Additionally, it prevents the knee from buckling when standing up. The four muscles of the quadriceps work closely with the hamstring muscles, the gluteal muscles and the calf muscles to ensure adequate functioning and movement of the leg, knee and hip.
If you’ve been following the Health Place Guide to Foam Rolling Series, you’ll be familiar with our recent article on the hamstrings. A related piece of information is that the hamstrings and the quadriceps are opposing muscle groups of your upper leg. Whilst your hamstrings work to extend your hip and bend or flex your knee, the quads work to flex your hips and extend your knee. Both of these muscle groups share the responsibility of providing knee stabilization, especially during weight-bearing activities.
Due to the length of the quadriceps, it is one of the most easily injured muscles of the human body. The most common injury being the quadriceps contusion whereby the quadriceps region suffers from a direct blow, leading to significant muscle damage. Quadriceps are also frequently susceptible to pulls and strains that are caused by the muscles being fatigued, overused, inadequately warmed up or stretched beyond their limits.
Initially, the best form of treatment is to rest your body ensuring appropriate leg elevation, apply ice or heat accordingly and seek professional advice depending on the severity of the quad injury. The Health Place practitioners are extremely capable of creating a personalised treatment plan incorporating remedial massage, acupuncture, cupping and necessary product knowledge (most suitably, the foam roller for the quad region) and advice to assist you on your journey to full recovery.
Once again, we’ve included a foam roller exercise that is beneficial for preventing and overcoming quad injuries. If you’re interested in purchasing a foam roller, visit us at our James Street location or online.
– Lie on roller in a face-down position.
– Place the top of your thigh on the roller.
– Try to maintain good posture whilst you slowly roll your body up so that the roller goes down towards your knee.
– Slowly roll back to the initial position.