Causes of quadriceps pain

Fact Checked

The quadriceps muscles are situated on the front or anterior part of the thigh. These muscles are responsible for extending the lower legs at the knee joints, allowing the straightening of the legs from a bent position. Quadriceps pain might occur due to various reasons.

In most circumstances, the pain can limit the capability of the individual to engage in various daily activities including walking and standing up as well as most sports or recreational activities. In case the pain is intense or persists for a few days, it is best to schedule an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible to determine any underlying causes.

Muscle contusion

A contusion or bruise on the quadriceps muscle can develop due to a strong blow to the front part of the thigh, resulting to damage to the muscle tissues without any break on the skin. The blood can accumulate at the site of injury, resulting to a lump or hematoma to form.

The pain and swelling caused by a bruise can reduce the range of motion. You have to utilize the RICE method (rest, icing along with compression, elevation) to manage a quadriceps contusion. If the symptoms do not diminish within several days, a doctor should be consulted. Those who engage in contact sports such as rugby or football must provide padding on the quads to prevent bruises.

Muscle strain

Among athletes, they are more likely to experience pain in the quadriceps due to a muscle strain. These can occur while kicking, sprinting or running when the lower legs are flexed at the knee joints, thus lengthening the quads in a forceful manner. This stretches them beyond their normal limits.

Strains usually occur at the point where the muscle fibers connect to the tendon. The RICE protocol and anti-inflammatory medications are used in treating a strain. Once the pain diminishes, the individual can start physical therapy in order to restore normal strength and flexibility.


This condition is described as widespread pain in the muscles and connective tissues that might include the quadriceps muscles and the tendons. Even though the exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, physical trauma, certain infections, emotional factors and the genetic aspect can play a role.

Medications such as antidepressants, analgesics and anti-seizure medications can help reduce the pain. On the other hand, it is still best to consult a doctor before starting any medication for further assessment.

The physical therapy typically includes exercises to strengthen and stretch out the quadriceps. For those who suffer from fibromyalgia caused by emotional stress or depression, counseling can help relieve some of the symptoms.

Depending on the exact cause of the quadriceps pain, consulting a doctor is a wise choice so that proper assessment can be carried out.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis contact a medical professional

  • All content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.