Rest, ice, compression and elevation, used in conjunction with one another, are the most effective means of healing a pulled quadriceps muscle, according to the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy can also help with recovery.
The RICE treatment plan reduces swelling and speeds healing during the acute phase of injury, says WebMD. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Stay off the injured muscle, using crutches, if necessary, and ice the injury for 20 minutes each hour. To avoid skin damage, do not apply ice directly to the skin; use a thin cloth, t-shirt or towel for protection. Compress the muscle by wrapping the thigh in an ACE bandage, or a specialized brace. Wraps should give support but should not be so tight as to reduce circulation. Elevate the injury above the heart as often as possible to control swelling.
The quadriceps muscle runs down the front of the thigh. It works together with the hamstrings at the back of the thigh to bend and straighten the leg, states About.com. Quadriceps strains are common sports injuries. They are graded on a scale of 1 to 3, notes the AAOS. Grade 1 strains are mild injuries, while grade 3 strains are the most severe.