Pain during a workout should be addressed as soon as possible. However, there is pain from stretching, training, and the usual beating a body takes during a work-out. This kind of pain is to be expected and a sign that you are pushing yourself to the next level of endurance, strength, or stamina.
It’s the second kind of pain that you should be wary of. This is usually sharp pain. It’s different from the good kind of pain because it is sustained pain in a localized area. With the quads, it’s relatively easy to determine if its’ good or bad pain since a pulled quad is rare and often happens to men and women in their 40s or older.
For most quad pains, the treatment is an ice pack and rest but it would depend on the severity of the injury. Some quad injuries will require medication.
Immediately, you should stop exercising especially if you see swelling, keep feeling pain, suddenly start feeling weak, or you have difficulty moving. It’s better to rest and seek expert advice rather
than continuing with your workout. If you continue to force yourself to exercise through the pain, you risk permanent or prolonged injury.
The first 72 hours is crucial and you will have to reduce any swelling. The swelling is caused by leaking blood vessels. Keep the painful area on ice compress and elevate. You can take some OTC pain medication like aspirin or naproxen.
The next step would be to seek doctor’s advice if the pain or swelling persists. You might have to take a sabbatical from physical training to give your body a chance to recover properly.
You can resume your exercise routine when the pain is gone. A serious quad injury could take up to 6 weeks to heal. For minor quad injuries, a week is enough to recover and you should be able to move about without pain.
Going back to your routine will have to be done gradually even if you rested for just 7 days. Never overstretch and make sure to stop once you start feeling the good kind of pain. Most definitely, you will have to avoid competition until you have at least 85% of your former quad strength.
If your muscles are sore after workout, I would recommend using a foam roller to relief the pressure. Example: