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Extreme quadriceps starting pain after 3-4 rest days

Moderator: Tonton

01 Jun 2017 00:19

Hi guys,

This is a great discussion and I won’t be the first to say that I’m glad I’m not the only one experiencing this oddity.

To contribute my story

Riding background
I’ve been riding for approximately 4 years (periods of hiatus for a few months)
I generally commute to work every day, approximately 40-45 kms per day
Weekends rides, my local loops will varying, from a 50-60 to 120 kms

I’ve had three attacks this year

Was in Bright, Victoria for a short away trip with the fiancée. During one of our hikes, as we started to descend down Mount Buffalo, I started to experience pain in my left leg, particularly around my upper thigh quad region. The more I stepped down, the pain continue to exacerbate to the point it was debilitating I had stop for a few minutes, I had to endure it until I got to the base (slowlest decent in my entire lol).

It felt like somebody was stabbing my leg and it was incredibly difficult to flex, bend and stretch. After that experience I avoided any further hikes/climbs for the rest of the trip.

Morning commute, about a few minutes into the ride my left thigh/quad started to seize up, the continuous pedalling made it worse to the point I could only pedal with the my right leg and then had to eventually get off the bike.

Similar symptoms as first attack
Stabbing/burning sensation around the quad, not localized it changes time to time above knee, outer or inner thigh.
As a result I was unable to walk, I was limping to take the weight impact off my leg for a few days.

I visited the physio, and he concluded I may have mild quad strain and muscle weakness. He suggested/recommended leg strength conditioning workouts, i.e. squats, leg curls and lunges and use a foam roller. About a week later the issues went away.

So as of Monday morning, I experienced a similar attack as above, leg seized up becoming too painful to cycle and walk.
Going for a walk, both my quads flare up in pain, the pain seems to circulate around my quads. It can be above the knee, outer or inner thigh and sometimes just below my hips.

I end up limping around by trying to not put too much weight on my left leg (it’s more problematic than my right)

Sitting down or standing for a few minutes the pain will go away, but as soon as I start moving the quads flare up in pain again.

The situation hasn’t improved since Monday and if I squeeze my quads, I can feel they’re quite tender/sore.

I have a physio appointment booked tomorrow. So I'll see how I go and share any feedback with you all.
Newly Registered Member
Posts: 1
Joined: 31 May 2017 22:56

20 Jun 2017 10:13

Just checking in. Since my last post, have gone through 2 bouts (currently 2 days into the 2nd bout). Was interesting in that i seem to have been able to delay the onset this time.
Usually, these bouts are triggered after i do a period of commuting Monday - Wednesday, then the bouts are triggered Sunday/Monday. However, there was one week when it didn't trigger. i was more physically active that weekend and so was able to do the commutes again the following Monday - Wednesday with no troubles. Did the same commutes again Saturday - Monday (again, same distance), so was expecting a bout starting Thursday/Friday, except i rode on Wednesday and was off the bike Thursday - Sunday and was fine until Monday morning. Walked a bit and did a lot of physical stuff (just not riding). Then took a real slack day on Sunday with the feet up sitting on the couch and i realised that may be a point of similarity between when i get my bouts. All the bouts (like many have stated) are preceded by a period off rest. More specifically, i'm talking about my posture during this rest phase. For this current bout, I was sitting on the couch with the feet on a footstool, legs stretched out in front of me.

Sitting with the feet up in this position has the quads in a shortened, non contracted state. So wondered if (somehow) the recovery process sets my quads in this shortened state but then when i start using it again, it's tearing (like a wound that clotted over on a flexible part of the body that then, flexed and opened the wound again, sorry for the imagery....) and that it's this new tearing that might be what this issue we all have might be?

I think i've ruled out nutrition as a cause and go back to thinking about the muscular recovery process. Certainly, a poor diet would definitely not help with the recovery process. So my next steps are to focus on my recovery after each ride, actually go for recovery rides and am strongly considering buying an indoor trainer so i can get in a quick 10 min spin at the minimum every day to stretch out those muscles.

Newly Registered Member
Posts: 5
Joined: 26 Aug 2016 07:20

23 Jun 2017 09:20

Hi all,

I'm another newbie to join this list of poor souls..

I'm not going to go into a long winded spiel as youve all stated symptoms ive got..

Painful quads, always after a decent week (at least) of riding and then a few days off..

several months ago, I was always of the belief that if I got the symptoms one day, then the next time I rode I'd be right...

And this was the case until the last couple of times.

The latest (im in the middle of one now) has lasted a week already. I was able to limp out about 12kms on the trainer (Zwift) tonight but it was a real limp. Any harder than about 1.5 w/kg and up came the pain.

I'm hoping that someone will come up with an answer to this so I'll be following you guys closely.

Thank you so much for starting this thread..as a lot have already said, there is nothing else I can find on google that describes the symptoms so perfectly...

I plan on taking this whole thread to my GP/Physio/Specialist..
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Joined: 23 Jun 2017 08:59


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