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Old 09-16-09, 09:17 PM   #1
somedood
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My legs hate me, help!

I (think I) pulled my quads pretty bad, and am not sure what the best road for recovery is. I'm pretty positive there is no tendon injury. Do you have any advice on what is most effective to help the muscles heal?

I commute daily on my bike, it's between an 8-16mi round trip - depending on which way I go. I'm 30, 160lbs and mostly healthy.

I've started playing flag football once a week on Wednesdays, starting last week. Last week wasn't bad, I was running/sprinting a lot in the game and was a bit sore the next couple of days but nothing terrible. On Saturday I helped my father-in-law roof his house. It took 12 hours. Lots of squatting and kneeling. I was tired. Sunday I was pretty sore, my legs were stiff but when Monday came I figured I'd be fine to ride. I took it easy, but when I get to climbs I usually push it. Halfway through the last climb to work I sprinted the last half, which isn't abnormal at all but I was quite a bit slower than when i normally lay down the hammer, not to mention I was really sucking down lots of air to keep that speed. It felt like when I had just started biking, by legs just could not keep up.

I didn't ride on Tues - my wife picked me up so we could take a dishwasher home. Today I didn't ride because the soreness in my legs wasn't gone and I wanted to be able to run for the game today. When the game started and I tried sprinting my legs hurt like crazy, it's like they just wouldn't response if I tried to sprint. I could jog slowly, but if I attempted to sprint I left a shot of pain in my quads and they got really tight. Towards the end I tried to break to catch a runner, but it really hurt my quads and my left one I sort of had to limp on. I rode my bike home way slow, but standing to pedal did the same thing. I can really feel it if I stretch them.

I want to keep riding, but I don't think I'll be able to tomorrow or Friday. I really want my legs to be normal again. Should I get some easy but semi-long walking in to keep the muscles active? Should I be icing them? Is stretching helpful?
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Old 09-17-09, 06:02 AM   #2
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Google DOMS. (delayed onset muscle soreness) Sounds like all it is is overuse. Lots of squats are guaranteed to kick my ass.
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Old 09-17-09, 07:01 AM   #3
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What CCrew said. There's a big difference between DOMS and a pulled muscle -- a pulled muscle won't wait until you resume vigorous sprinting-type activity to make its presence known. Also, with a pulled muscle it's usually possible to identify a mechanism of injury -- one particular movement (not a series of repeated movements) where you felt that you tweaked it.
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Old 09-17-09, 07:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
a pulled muscle won't wait until you resume vigorous sprinting-type activity to make its presence known.
Repeated for emphasis
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Old 09-17-09, 08:20 AM   #5
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I have to agree with you guys about the DOMS diagnosis, there's no bruising and it doesn't hurt much when I don't move. I injured my tendons in the arm a while ago and this is much different.

This is the worst I've had muscle soreness. I feel so worthless! At least it's strongest with only a few movements so I can get around just fine I just have to use my arms to stand up.
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Old 09-17-09, 02:53 PM   #6
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My quads were killing me for a while after I got a new saddle. I thought I was overdoing it, so I rested a couple extra days. It didn't seem to help. A friend mentioned saddle height so I raised my saddle about a half an inch, the pain went away.
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Old 09-17-09, 05:25 PM   #7
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Hate 'em back, that's what I do...
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Old 09-17-09, 06:30 PM   #8
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It sounds like an overuse injury (basically what CCrew and lil brown bat said). A sharp pain however can be an indicator of something you need to have checked out but this doesn't sound like the case. It sounds more like a muscle spasm brought about by overuse. The old adage Rest Ice Compression and Elevation is usually the best practice.
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