Our step by step Thigh strain rehabilitation program has been created by elite level sports physiotherapist Paul Tanner. It is based on what he would do with his professional footballers but adapted to be used by anyone.
The program consists of 5 phases and is criteria based. This means you start on phase 1 and must meet specific criteria before progressing to phase 2, and so on. It is mobile app based and tells you exactly what to do each day and records you progress.
Download our FREE Thigh Strain Rehabilitation App!
Phase 1: Acute
This is the acute phase immediately after injury. The aim here is to protect the muscle, reduce pain and swelling and allow the muscle to begin to heal. Apply cold therapy, compression and rest.
Avoid stretching the quadriceps muscles at this stage. Stretching exercises for the calf muscles, hamstrings, gluteals and hips should be done.
Gentle isometric muscle contractions can begin as long as they are pain free, along with activation exercises for the hips.
Only move on to phase 2 when you have complete rest for 3 days, applied cold therapy and compression at least 3 times per day, can walk pain free, have no pain to touch and can manage a pain free quadriceps muscle stretch.
Phase 2: Sub acute
During phase 2 we continue with cold therapy and compression, but also now begin to load the muscle more and begin to include more functional exercises.
Phase 3: Early strengthening
During phase three we focus more on increasing quadriceps muscle strength and endurance. Heat is applied before exercises and cold/ice after. Stretching exercises are continued with even more advanced strengthening exercises.
Phase 4: Advanced strengthening
The aim of phase 4 is to further increase quadriceps muscle strength and prepare the athlete for higher intensity training. Here you will begin to return to normal training activities.
Phase 5: Return to sport
This is the final phase where you do the most advanced quadriceps strengthening and movement control exercises. The aim here is to return you to full normal training and mitigate the risk of your injury returning.
What’s included in the program?
Treatment & healing
This covers how and when to apply treatment such as cold therapy & compression, heat, massage, taping & bracing.
Dozens of different exercises with video demonstrations covering mobility & stretching, activation, strengthening, motion control/proprioception and functional.
Throughout the program Paul Tanner explains the aims of each phase, which treatment methods and exercises you should do each day and where you need to be before you can progress onto the next level.
Types of exercises
The program includes the following exercises:
Stretching & mobility
These aim to maintain normal range of movement in the ankle, knee and hips. They begin early in stage one with simple active ankle movements and gradually progress to more dynamic hip mobility drills.
These exercises are aimed at maintaining the hip abductor muscles (outside of the hip). It is important these muscles keep firing and stay in good condition ready for the demands later in the program.
These exercises are aimed at maintaining and improving specific muscle strength around your knee joint. They begin with simple isometric exercises and become increasingly more demanding, with heavier loads and unpredicatable movements.
Movement control exercises
These are proprioception type exercises, aimed at improving your balance, control and spacial awareness. Again, they start with simple balance exercises and progress to advanced balance board movements.
Functional exercises bridge the gap between basic rehabilitation and sports specific type drills. They begin with walking drills and progress through skipping type sprint drills and agility training.
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Download our FREE mobile app based rehabilitation program for Thigh strains! Or register online through web browser.