The quadriceps are one of the biggest muscles in your body and really have an affect on almost every move that you take, so dealing with a pulled quad can be one of the most frustrating and painful injuries that an athlete can get. There probably isn’t a single sport that you can perform well with a pulled quad so any athlete having to deal with it, is likely looking for a way to heal quickly. Well, when you have a pulled quad, or really any other injury, there is a single trick that you need to do in order to heal quickly.
And NO it’s not R.I.C.E.
It’s the opposite of R.I.C.E.
The trick to healing your pulled quad is improved circulation. The only way your body can heal itself is through blood circulation. If you’re relying on R.I.C.E. to do this, you’re going to be disappointed. The tactics used within R.I.C.E. – rest, ice, compression, and elevation – are actually designed to do the opposite of increasing circulation. As a rule of thumb, R.I.C.E. should be used only to eliminate swelling. Otherwise, it’s detrimental to your healing process.
So why is circulation so important to healing your pulled quad and how can you help improve circulation? Let’s take a look…
WHY is circulation so important?
- Delivery of nutrients & oxygen
One of the main purposes of blood circulation is to deliver nutrients and oxygen to every part of your body. Without good circulation, your muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones aren’t getting the nutrients and oxygen that they need to perform correctly or repair damage.
- Elimination of toxins
When you injure your quad, you immediately have created toxins and waste in the muscle that needs to be removed in order for your body’s natural healing process to take place. Without great circulation, those toxins can sit in your muscles causing a delay in healing and even cause future issues. Good circulation will help your body naturally remove these toxins and any waste so that you can heal quickly and correctly.
HOW can you improve circulation?
The most important piece to improving circulation is heat. Heat agitates your blood cells getting them to move more freely. Adding heat directly to a specific spot (your injured quadriceps) will get your blood to move more freely to the area to deliver nutrients and oxygen and remove damaging toxins and waste. You should move to a heat pack as soon as any swelling has subsided. Avoid ice after swelling!
- Foam rolling
Foam rolling will help your body naturally improve circulation and even force out some of the stubborn toxins that have built up in your injured quad. Foam rolling is not always a pleasant experience, but it does help stretch out the muscle and improve circulation.
PRO TIP: Foam rolling is not a time to power through the pain. Don’t be a tough guy (or girl) here. If the pain is too much, scale back or stop altogether.
One of the many benefits of massage therapy is to give your body an added boost in circulation and toxin removal. That’s why your therapist always tells you to drink plenty of water after your session. Massage, like foam rolling, is a way to push out those stubborn toxins and help your body identify areas that need more assistance.
PRO TIP: Just like foam rolling, massage is not the time to be tough, especially with an injury. You’re likely not going to be able to take a deep tissue massage on your injured quad, but even regular pressure could cause pain. If it hurts, be sure to say something. You don’t want a massage to be the reason for re-injury or further injury.
- Injury treatment kit
Everything in our injury treatment kits is designed to supercharge your body’s natural ability to heal itself. Using the right kit for your injury type and severity will almost immediately help improve circulation directly to your injured quad.
PRO TIP: It’s important to select the right kit for your specific injury and severity. We have a mild injury treatment kit, moderate kit, severe kit, and chronic kit all designed specifically to help you recover from that level of injury. Selecting the wrong kit will hinder your ability to get back to your sport as quickly as you could have. Take our FREE Injury Assessment and let our injury specialists make custom recommendations just for you.
So there you have it. The trick that no one is really talking about when it comes to injury recovery – circulation! Your body is amazing and has the ability to heal from almost any injury, but by helping to improve your circulation to your injured quad, you can speed up the entire process. Looking for more tips to help you get back to 100% faster? Download our FREE Blueprint to FAST HEALING eBook now!