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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Quad Strain

First of all, thanks for all the b-day wishes! I felt very special yesterday: I got b-day wishes from my co-workers and from my students, I got emails, calls, cards, etc from friends and family, and one of my classes even sang to me!

It was, however, a pretty low-key b-day. I had class all day and got home at about 7:30. Jerry made me my favorite dinner, I enjoyed a frosty beer, opened my presents, and got to enjoy some Cake Batter ice cream from Cold Stone (Jerry went and got me a whole quart of it!) while we watched an episode of "The Wire." On Saturday, we are planning a beach party with our friends, so then I'll party like the rockin' 30 year old I now am!

But...back to running. Particularly, I want to discuss my quads with you and seek your advice. Remember how I told you a few days ago at soccer I felt like I pulled both quads? Yeah, they still hurt. So, I have been reading some info on quad strain, and this is what I have learned:
  • Most likely caused by sprinting, jumping, or kicking. Um, yeah, that pretty much describes soccer.
  • I probably actually strained both quads the first Sunday I played; I just took the injury as soreness, and the strain flared up when I played again last Sunday.
  • Most treatments require the basic treatments that runners apply to nearly every injury: RICE and anti-inflammatories.
  • I should not be foam rollering -- inflamed muscles just get irritated by that.
  • I probably incurred a grade 2 strain since my quads have been tender to the touch and are aggravated by some simple activities -- like getting into and out of the car.

So, from previous injury experience, I know a few things, and chief among them is to treat an injury seriously, and I haven't run since Sunday, and have been religiously popping Advil (but I know it takes a few days for an the anti-inflammatory to build up in the system). But for as much as I know what I should do, my body wants to do something else. See, I want to run, and I want to play soccer this Sunday, but I'm not sure if either is wise, especially since I have the Disney 15K on May 4th.

Thus, the questions I pose to you homies: Do I continue to rest this week? Like the entire week? Do I skip soccer this Sunday? Or, do I give the running and soccer a try, but continue with the anti-inflammatories, ice, and be sure I adequately warm up before each activity?


Wes said...

Sounds like you are doing all the right things. There comes a point where you are on the healing side of the equation and you can start running again. I think you just need to be careful and and run at like 70-80% of what you normally do. I would take it a bit easy on the soccer too, ya know, like maybe play in the back so you aren't running as much.

Did you get new cleats for soccer? Those thin soles in cleats really suck....

jahowie said...

I agree with wes. I would take it very easy and avoid any further injury. Happy Belated Birthday by the way!! :-)

chia said...

Can you possibly sit out of soccer for the next 2 weekends and resume after the 15K run? As fun as soccer sounds, it's not worth degrading the experience of something you've previously committed to :-(.

Tea is a natural anti-inflam too :-)

TriGirl Thea said...

I'm no expert...but in your shoes I'd rice and rest for a couple of days, and try out a gentle run after that and listen to what your body has to say about it. I don't think running is as tough on the quads as soccer provided its on the flat (?)

But I might ask to go in goal on Sunday, and start thinking about some strength exercises and stretches to stop it happening again in the future.

Hope the beach party goes with a bang!

Anonymous said...

I would take it easy as well. If your quads hurt when running I would slow it down to a walk. As for soccer, I would wait and see how the quads feel as the week goes on. I am sure you will start to feel better soon, just listen to your body and run smart.

Kevin said...

I agree with what others have said. Take it easy on the running and stay away from soccer till you feel better.

Obi-Run Kenobi said...

I would suggest just taking it easy and letting your body get back to near 100%.

While it's possible that you'll be fine, having two quad strains that result in having trouble getting in and out of a car makes the conservative athlete in me think twice.

There's no sense in creating a more serious injury (a tear!) or maybe a nagging injury for weeks to come. Soccer and the roads will be there in a week or so.

As Snoop Dogg says: "So just chill, until the next episode."

Words of wisdom.

keith said...

I'd say take it easy until you feel at least 90% again. Then go easy back into running, etc.

also: ice bath. can't say enough about it. they work, man!

The 311 Boys Mom said...

I have 2 awesome stretches for quads, since my quads are part of my problem.

& as far as massage, move your leg slowly left to right & rub it out on the outward motion, it gets rid of "junk" that builds up.

as for the exercises. I can scan them & email them to you.

Better yet,. I'm due for a post.....I'll post them.

& try biking instead of running.

J~Mom said...

The first thing that I did wrong was keep running through the strain for about 2 months. I would let it feel better and then re-inflame it over and over again. I could always run but it was always there hurting. So finally I went to the doc and they sent me to pt.

So from that...everything you said, except that pt did have me foam roller it. Not at first probably after 2 weeks. It helped to get the knots out that were spasmed in the quad. In my case he explained that you can't stretch the knot, you have to get it to relax and then roll it out. More then anything that is what finally helped it to feel better.

Other then that I spent 4 weeks at pt with no running trying to strengthen the leg muscles in general. I don't think you would have to go a full 4 weeks but remember I didn't listen for a long, long time to the injury. Also, I had to back way off of speed work. It took me many weeks to run full out because I was so afraid of re-pulling it.

So in short (LOL) I would do the rice technique and maybe take a week off and then go from there. Email me if you have any questions.

Marcy said...

Ooooooo look at Dr Java over here, Put a muzzle on it already! Geez! :P ;-) LOL

I agree with taking some time off, but twhat the heck do I know? I always do the wrong things :P

Razz said...

I'd lay off for awhile. You're old now, so you need the rest.

TriGirl Thea said...

re: body issues

Well put!

I wonder in part though whether we blame the media too much? That maybe women (and girls) take these issues on, because they are reinforced socially...Just a thought.

And just for the record. I've changed my mind. In your shoes I'd listen to J-Mom. Hope it resolves itself soon.

Triseverance said...

Being cautious is smart so I won't talk about that.
I tend to classify injuries into two forms, traumatic, which might include a sprain a pulled muscle or the like. And overuse which would be runners knee, tendonitis or ITBS and the like.
Overuse injuries you have to rest, no two ways around it.
Truamatic injuries I think it is more a feel thing. Continue with your treatments and feel free to do what feels ok. Don't push through pain. I think light activity can hasten the healing process but if it hurts stop.
FYI I strained a quad a couple of years ago, one week of rest and it was back to normal.

Laura N said...

Sorry I missed the Big Day yesterday. Happy Belated 30th! You're finally in a respectable decade and have to act like a real adult now.

My 2 cents--I'd totally bag soccer and not run for at least a week (maybe more) if you want to run the 15k on 5/4. Soccer would probably be the worst thing you could do right now. I had a deep quad strain a couple summers ago (of course, I was 200 pounds and trying to run, so a totally different scenario from YOU) and it took a good 2 months before it was completely healed. Hope your legs heal up quicky quick.

Jess said...

I think you play it by ear. Rest, rest, rest for a few more days and see how you feel come Sunday.

sRod said...

Stretch, a lot. Take it easy on all fronts. You should be fine in a week or two. If you're not, well, panic.

MNFirefly said...

Ouch! Rest up!