A person can tear their quadriceps by putting the muscle under too much stress and pressure when accelerating in activities, by not properly warming up the muscle or by overusing the muscles, according to Core Performance. An injury can also occur when the hamstrings are much stronger than the quadriceps and the imbalance between the two leads to an injury.
Certain athletes and exercisers are more prone to strained or torn quadriceps than others, including runners, judo and karate athletes, rugby, hurdlers and football players . When a person tears or strains their quadricep, they will most likely experience muscle spasms, swelling, bruising, leg strength loss, a crackling sensation and pain when moving the muscle or flexing it.
The treatment for a torn or sprained quadricep depends on the individual, but should always begin with ice cold pack treatments several times a day. Once it has been 48 to 72 hours after the initial pain, the ice cold packs can be alternated with moist heat packs . Over-the-counter pain medications can help with the pain.
For those who have torn their quadricep, surgery may be necessary to fully repair the tendons and allow them to heal. Most of the time, people can make a full recovery from quadricep tears and strains, reports the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.