Injury Treatment

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Anterior (Front) of the Thigh

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Injury Information

Hip flexor (Iliopsoas) muscle or bursa inflammation

The Iliopsoas muscle is responsible for flexing the hip or pulling the thigh upward and forward. Inflammation of this muscle is common in rowing, running uphill, kicking a ball repetitively, or jumping sports such as long jump. Inflammation may originate from the muscle or fluid filled sac (bursa) underneath the muscle.

Pain will originate above the groin and may refer down to the groin or to the front or inside of the leg. Aggravation will occur when pulling the leg up against resistance.

Quadriceps muscle strain/rupture

Quadriceps muscle strains or tears commonly occur as a result of quick and forceful kicking, eg, in soccer and football, jumping or sprinting. Pain is usually felt as a sudden sharp painful stab during exertion. Bruising and swelling in the front of the thigh will increase with injury severity.

Spasm and muscle weakness are also common. There are four muscles in the quadriceps PICTURE, the most commonly strained is the central rectus femoris. Pain may decrease with extended pressure, elevation and icing.

Quadriceps contusion

Contusions will form as a result of a direct blow to the muscle, in this case the quadriceps muscle. A contusion is a severe bruise, with symptoms including pain and swelling which increases overnight. Pain will also increase with muscle contraction and stretching. Pain and swelling will tend to decrease with extended pressure, elevation and icing. This injury is common in contact sports such as football and rugby.

Myositis Ossificans

Following a contusion to the thigh, bleeding may occur into the muscle. This blood will form a haematoma that will then form scar tissue. More severe or neglected contusions can sometimes undergo heterotopic bone formation meaning bone forms within the muscle layer. Symptoms include overnight and morning pain, as well as pain on muscle contraction. It may be possible to feel a hard bump within the muscle. Stiffness and loss of knee range of movement are also common.

Referred Pain

Referred pain to the front of the thigh will commonly originate in the upper lumbar spine, sacro-iliac joint and hip joint.

Injury Treatment

Early Injury Management

For approximately the first 72 hours following an injury, the RICE regime should be followed to ensure control of inflammation and pain relief.

R - Rest

I – Ice

C - Compression

E – Elevation

Rest from aggravating activity.

Ice should be applied in the first 72 hours or when inflammation persists. Ice should be applied for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Ice should not be applied directly to the skin, but through a wet towel or cloth.

Compression can be achieved with an elastic bandage.

Elevation is used to help swelling to return to the heart through the blood stream.

The injured area should be elevated above the level of the heart.



Strengthening programs should only be commenced when:

Exercises should be 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions.