Home Blog

Quadriceps Thigh Strain: Chiropractic

Young woman running a relay race and giving relay baton to her teammate. Female runner passing the relay baton during race.

The quadriceps muscle consists of four muscles in front of the thigh that connects to the knee right below the knee cap. These muscles straighten the knee for walking, running, and jumping. They also help bend the knee for squatting. They move the leg forward when running and fire/transmit electrical impulses when the foot hits the ground to absorb shock. When jumping, the muscles provide stability coming down as well as when standing on one leg.

Quadriceps Thigh Strain: Chiropractic

Quadriceps Strain

Thigh strains are common in sports. Most players are sidelined because of this injury when compared to strains in the hamstrings or groin. Factors that can increase the risk of injury include:

  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle weakness
  • The strength of the quadriceps to the hamstrings is uneven, causing one set to get overused.
  • Consistent sprinting and/or kicking
  • Previous strain and/or injury

The quadriceps is made up of four muscles.  One is the rectus femoris, which gets injured the most. It’s the only muscle that crosses two joints – the hip joint and the knee joint.

Symptoms and Injury Grades

Individuals commonly report a pulling/stretching sensation in the front of the thigh. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Muscle tenderness
  • For minor quadriceps strains or tears, moderate to dull pain presents along with stiff movement.

Grades categorize the severity of the strain:

  • Grade 1 presents with mild discomfort in the thigh with no loss of strength.
  • Grade 2 presents with moderate pain, swelling, and some loss of strength.
  • Grade 3 is a complete rupture of the fibers. Individuals are in severe pain and unable to walk.
  • Grade 3 is where surgery is required.

Symptoms can vary depending on the type of injury that has been sustained and the severity. There is pain and localized swelling for both strains and contusions. If a muscle rupture has happened, there could be a bump/lump within the muscle or a gap in the muscle. If rupture of the Quadriceps Tendon has occurred, individuals often report hearing a pop when the injury happens. The swelling often makes straightening the leg difficult or impossible.

Injury causes

Thigh strains usually happen when slowing down/decelerating after a sprint. This can be because the individual takes too small or too large steps causing the muscles to overstretch, much like a rubber band that, if overstretched, tears, and if under stretched, it bunches up, which can cause spasms and tears.

Treatment

In the initial stages after a quadriceps strain, it is recommended to follow the RICE Procedure for 24 hours: This includes:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevate
  • The leg needs to be rested every 2-3 hours in 20-minute sessions.
  • A bandage can provide added support.
  • For slight tears and strains, it is recommended to stretch the quadriceps gently.
  • This helps prevent the muscles from experiencing shortening. This happens by the formation of scar tissue that pulls the muscle/s, making them shorter.
  • Gentle stretches allow the muscles to heal with minimal shortening. This helps prevent further and/or re-injury.

Chiropractic Physical Therapy Rehabilitation

After the acute stage of the injury, receiving regular chiropractic sports adjustments, physical therapy massage, coupled with strength training exercises will speed up recovery.

  • Physical therapy massage will remove scar tissue and keep the muscle/s loose and flexible.
  • Exercises for strengthening the muscles after injury will be recommended according to the individual’s condition/case.
  • Following correct post-injury-care, exercises, and physical therapy.
  • Healing time can be 4- 6 weeks.

Body Composition


Strength Training: The Inverted Row

This workout targets the back muscles, spine and scapular stabilizers, deep abdominals, and arms. Everyday activities that require various types of pulling motion, lifting, etc., become easier. To perform:

  • Lie flat on your back.
  • Grab a stable barbell or set of straps that are above you.
  • Pull your upper body up as high as possible while keeping the back straight.
  • Squeeze the shoulder blades together at the top.
  • Complete as many reps as possible.
  • Once enough strength and endurance have been built, try a pullup.
References

Kary, Joel M. “Diagnosis and management of quadriceps strains and contusions.” Current reviews in musculoskeletal medicine vol. 3,1-4 26-31. 30 Jul. 2010, doi:10.1007/s12178-010-9064-5

Hillermann, Bernd, et al. “A pilot study comparing the effects of spinal manipulative therapy with those of extra-spinal manipulative therapy on quadriceps muscle strength.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 29,2 (2006): 145-9. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2005.12.003

Wenban, Adrian B. “Influence of active release technique on quadriceps inhibition and strength: a pilot study.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 28,1 (2005): 73. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2004.12.015

A Teenagers Spine During Development

Schoolgirl using mobile phone on the corridor

Poor spinal health in adolescence can lead to chronic pain in adulthood. Teenagers, just like adults, can experience back pain from accidents, sports injuries, a sedentary lifestyle, part-time jobs, chores, etc. However, sitting too long in school along with heavy backpacks can also contribute to compromised spinal health. Chiropractic professionals can help these young individuals address and prevent spinal issues/injuries to maintain a healthy spine.A Teenagers Spine During Development

Teenagers Spine Issues

If discomfort or pain is present, much push through, as they and their spines are young. There are common spinal dysfunctions that teens and parents should be aware of. These include:

Disc injuries

Teenagers can put a serious strain on the spine from various forms of physical activity, jumping, dancing, and playing. This pressure gets transmitted through the spine. During a teenager’s development, this can result in permanent disc damage.

Scoliosis

A spinal deformity or exaggerated curvature of the spine is common and affects young children and teens. It usually happens during the growth spurt just before puberty. This is why it is important to have a teenager’s spine checked regularly and analyzed for signs/symptoms of scoliosis.

Spondylolysis

This condition is often associated with sports injuries. It happens when teenagers overextend/overreach their backs. It’s most common in gymnastics, weight lifting, tennis, football, diving, and other similar sports.

Protection and Prevention

There are several ways that parents and healthcare providers can help teenagers make healthy decisions to achieve and maintain optimal spinal health.

Sitting less, moving more.

Children are taught to sit from a very young age. In school, watching t.v., or doing homework, teenagers spend more time sitting than their bodies should. Teenagers need to stand, walk and move around just like adults to protect their spines from degeneration and injury.

Maintaining healthy posture

Teens who learn how to maintain proper posture at a young age can maintain it for the rest of their life. Learning proper posture at a young age.

Sports safety

Playing sports is healthy. However, there is a risk associated with teen sports. Although they are taught to play safely, encourage them to continue to educate themselves about sports injuries and know how to address them.

Chiropractic Support

At Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic, we’re committed to helping young adults and adolescents overcome and prevent spinal injuries that could turn into chronic pain conditions. We are continually developing our chiropractic, and physical therapy treatment approaches to achieve optimal results.


Body Composition


Sleep and Growth Hormone In Children

Growth hormones primarily control growth. The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland regulate this hormone. Sleep plays an important role in the proper function of these glands. A review showed that:

  • Growth hormone levels rise and peak at the onset of deep sleep
  • Multiple but smaller peaks were seen during other sleep stages
  • Individuals that have a delay in the onset of deep sleep have delayed peaks in growth hormone levels

For children to grow properly, they need to have adequate levels of growth hormone. This means they need to have a sufficient amount of sleep. The proper amount of sleep is vital for healthy body composition. A study measured the body composition of preschool-aged children. The study found that children who had proper sleep levels had less overall fat mass and reduced body fat. Children and teenagers need to get the proper amounts of sleep for their bodies to grow healthily.

References

Clement, R Carter et al. “What are normal radiographic spine and shoulder balance parameters among adolescent patients?.” Spine deformity vol. 8,4 (2020): 621-627. doi:10.1007/s43390-020-00074-9

Driehuis, Femke et al. “Spinal manual therapy in infants, children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis on treatment indication, technique, and outcomes.” PloS one vol. 14,6 e0218940. 25 Jun. 2019, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0218940

Manansala, Christian et al. “Change in young people’s spine pain following chiropractic care at a publicly funded healthcare facility in Canada.” Complementary therapies in clinical practice vol. 35 (2019): 301-307. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2019.03.013

Yoga Has Been Shown To Help Reverse Scoliosis

Sporty beautiful young woman in white sportswear doing variation of Standing Half Forward Bend, Ardha Uttanasana pose with wooden blocks, studio full length shot on white background, isolated

A non-invasive method of treating scoliosis. Yoga Has Been Shown To Help Reverse Scoliosis. Scoliosis is the lateral curvature of the spine. The spine bends inward toward the front of the body at the neck region and lower back region. This curve is known as lordosis and bows outward in the middle-back region. This is known as kyphosis. If the spine curves to the side, this could indicate curvature that could be scoliosis. It can be painful and often can affect an individual’s appearance once the measurement goes beyond 25 – 30 degrees. One shoulder is usually higher than the other, and clothing cannot fit properly. If the curve goes beyond 60 degrees, it can affect breathing and cardiac function.

Yoga Has Been Shown To Help Reverse Scoliosis

Idiopathic Causes Unknown

This condition can consist of various components, especially with more intense curves. The ribs can shift backward on the side where the curve bulges. Most cases consist of adolescent idiopathic (without a known cause) scoliosis. Because the cause is unknown, there are not a variety of effective treatment besides surgery. Physicians carefully keep an eye for:

  • Curves under 25 degrees.
  • Bracing between 25 and 45 degrees.
  • Consider surgery for intense curvature.

Curves in individuals typically appear between 12 and 20 years old.

Yoga Shown To Reverse Scoliosis

Individuals are recommended to do just one yoga pose daily. However, depending on the type and severity of the curves, it could be more than one. They are asked to perform the pose for 5 minutes or less, depending on the condition. A yoga therapist, chiropractor, and physical therapist can generate significant spinal improvement. This could mean that a curve of 30 degrees could be reduced to around 18 degrees in 10-12 months. Individuals that do the poses at least 4 times a week have shown 80-90% improvement. The pose can be done at work during breaks, etc.

The biggest advantage of this technique is that it is non-invasive; it can help individuals with developing curves, reversing the curvature early. Most curves do not reach the point of surgery. In late adolescence and teen years, the spine is still quite flexible. This can help accelerate the effectiveness of the yoga pose to straighten the spine. The technique reduces the curve from worsening. X-rays will show if the curvature has improved or not. Patients could be asked to do the pose/s twice or more daily depending on the direction the condition is taking.


Body Composition


Gluten Effects

Gluten causes digestive issues for individuals that have celiac disease or autoimmune thyroid disease. Individuals with these conditions could experience a variety of uncomfortable and/or painful effects. These symptoms can vary based on their presentation. They fall into classifications.

Classical Celiac Disease

With classical celiac disease, symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Discolored stools
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal bloating and pain
  • Weight loss

However, these symptoms are more common in children than adults. In adults, symptoms are more similar to non-classical celiac disease.

Non-Classical Celiac Disease

With non-classical celiac disease, severe digestive symptoms may not present as classic celiac disease symptoms but develop other symptoms. These include:

Silent Celiac Disease

Silent celiac disease is less visible. Individuals might not see any symptoms. However, damage to the intestines is still happening from gluten consumption.

Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

Autoimmune Thyroid Disease or ATD. Autoimmune thyroid disease includes conditions like Hashimoto’s disease. This affects the thyroid gland and causes:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Hair loss
  • Body aches
  • Joint aches
  • Negative health effects

Studies have shown that gluten-free helps alleviate symptoms.

References

Loren M. Fishman, M.D., B.Phil. (oxon). Healing Yoga. (New York: W.W. Norton, 2014).

Loren M. Fishman, M.D., B.Phil. (oxon). “Isometric Yoga-Like Maneuvers Improve Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis—A Nonrandomized Control Trial.” Global Advances in Health and Medicine. February 24, 2021. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2164956120988259

Fishman LM, Groessl EJ, Sherman KJ, “Serial Case Reporting Yoga for Idiopathic and Degenerative Scoliosis.” Global Advances in Health and Medicine. September 1, 2014. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.7453/gahmj.2013.064

Adult Scoliosis: Diagnosis, Measurements, and Chiropractic

Man during the medical consultation with senior therapist looking on the tomography print at the office

Scoliosis in adolescents and teens can be corrected with proper bracing, adjustments and lead a normal life. For adult scoliosis correcting the problem is more difficult. Fortunately, cases of adult scoliosis are rare. Scoliosis cases that follow from childhood into adulthood require a comprehensive diagnosis to determine severity. Thoracolumbar scoliosis adult-onset scoliosis requires an understanding of the catalysts to develop an effective treatment plan. Chiropractors use a full range of diagnostic tools to measure the severity of adult scoliosis.

Adult Scoliosis: Diagnosis, Measurements, and Chiropractic

Diagnosis

Adult scoliosis is the presentation of abnormal curvature of the spine. It can happen in the thoracic, lumbar spine, or both. This can have varying degrees of severity. Severe adult scoliosis can be apparent through visual assessment and examination. Cases that are not as obvious require utilizing diagnostic tools. These include:

Imaging

X-rays will show any asymmetry that is associated with scoliosis. This asymmetry can be present in the hips or shoulder and is usually qualified by spinal misalignment.

Walking Gait Examination

Inspecting how worn out an individual’s shoe/s are and having them perform various walking tests can reveal problems with gait. In adults, this can present instability. For example, having problems with balance or fast-twitch muscle response.

Neuromotor Exams

These exams are general and first performed to get a baseline diagnosis for the presence of adult scoliosis. Tests look at the left and right coordination along with the sense of touch capabilities. This measures the severity of the improper spinal curvature and how much it has affected the development of an individual’s motor functions. It is also done in the context of how it’s affecting the body’s biomechanics. Following these exams are quantitative tools/techniques for measuring the severity of adult thoracolumbar scoliosis. These include:

Cobb Angle Measurement

This tool determines the maximum degree of spinal curvature variation and provides a context for severity.

King Classification Tool

This examines the vertebral alignment to determine the spinal variance in specific vertebrae from the neutral center position.

Lenke Classification Tool

This spinal exam relies on measurements of three positions and looks for flexibility.

Combined Approaches

When assessing adult scoliosis, this is important to understand and helps determine how to proceed with treatment. The body is no longer in development as an adolescent. This means bracing does not come with a one-size-fits-all approach. Chiropractic can help with the assessment modalities used to investigate adult scoliosis cases. These measurement and analyses tools are often used in combination to develop a complete picture of what is going on.


Body Composition


Fill Up With Prebiotics

Individuals can help their gut bacteria thrive in the digestive tract by consuming prebiotics. Prebiotics are a form of soluble fiber. The body cannot digest these prebiotics, but gut bacteria can. Recommended sources of fiber-rich prebiotics can be found in nutrient-dense foods like:

  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Fruits
  • Legumes
  • Raw chicory

A diet with various fiber types has been shown to reduce the risk of obesity and prevent weight gain. Resistant starches like plantains, green bananas, and cooled potatoes have increased beneficial bacteria in the colon. Barley, oats, and wheat bran are insoluble high-fiber grains that are also recommended sources.

References

Aebi, Max. “The adult scoliosis.” The European spine journal: official publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society vol. 14,10 (2005): 925-48. doi:10.1007/s00586-005-1053-9

Haenen, Daniëlle et al. “A diet high in resistant starch modulates microbiota composition, SCFA concentrations, and gene expression in pig intestine.” The Journal of nutrition vol. 143,3 (2013): 274-83. doi:10.3945/jn.112.169672

Lowe, Thomas et al. “The SRS classification for adult spinal deformity: building on the King/Moe and Lenke classification systems.” Spine vol. 31,19 Suppl (2006): S119-25. doi:10.1097/01.brs.0000232709.48446.be