Knee pain, a loss of quads muscle strength and a perceived ‘looseness’ in my knee led me to the local orthopedic center. As spring is rapidly approaching with summer goals in mind, my fitness and ability to be active were top of mind as these symptoms arose. The vastus medialis muscle, also known as the teardrop muscle, located in the front of the thigh and is one of the four muscles that make up the quadriceps group was the source of my troubles. This muscle plays an important role in knee stability during physical activity. Weak or imbalanced surrounding muscles can increase the risk of injury to the vastus medialis muscle. I’ve said it many times before, I hate working out. When I was younger the gym could have made me faster, now as a man over 50 years old it may have increased my risk of injury to this muscle due to factors such as decreased muscle mass and strength. In this post, we explore proper training can reduce the risk of injury to this muscle.
One of the Four Quadriceps Muscles
The quadriceps muscle group is a collection of four muscles located in the front of the thigh. These muscles work together to extend the knee and straighten the leg. The four muscles that make up the quadriceps group are the rectus femoris, vastus intermedius, vastus lateralis, and vastus medialis. The vastus medialis is located on the inner portion of the thigh and plays an important role in knee stability during physical activities. Together, these four muscles are crucial for movement and stability of the lower body.
That knee pain might actually not be what you think
Pain and weakness in my knee and fear that I might have a meniscus tear is what drove me to my doctor. That ortho visit, scans and physical therapy led us to an injury to the vastus medialis muscle, which is one of the quadriceps muscles located on the inner portion of the thigh. This is what was causing pain and discomfort in my knee and giving me that feeling of instability. Some of the common causes of injury to the vastus medialis muscle include muscle imbalances, overuse, and improper technique during exercises. Proper diagnosis and treatment by a medical professional, not my word for it could help you as it is me.
How does training provide injury prevention in men over 50?
As we age, our bodies naturally undergo various changes that can impact our overall health and well-being. One common issue that affects many men over the age of 50 is the loss of muscle mass and strength. This decline can be attributed to a number of factors, including changes in hormone levels, decreased activity levels, and the natural aging process. However, proper training has been shown to be an effective way to combat these changes and maintain or even improve muscle mass and strength.
One of the primary ways to reduce the risk of injury to the vastus medialis muscle is by strengthening the surrounding muscles, including the glutes, hamstrings, and other quadriceps muscles. When these muscles are weak, the strain placed on the vastus medialis muscle increases during physical activities such as running, jumping, or squatting. This increased strain can lead to overuse injuries such as patellar tendinitis or runner’s knee. However, by regularly incorporating body mass and weight training exercises that target these muscles, they can become stronger, reducing the overall strain placed on the vastus medialis muscle.
Furthermore, weight training can help address muscle imbalances that can also contribute to the risk of injury to the vastus medialis muscle. Imbalances in the surrounding muscles can lead to compensatory movements, causing unnecessary stress on the vastus medialis muscle. Strengthening the surrounding muscles can help correct these imbalances and promote more efficient movements, reducing the risk of injury.
Training that can be beneficial for preventing injury to the vastus medialis muscle
- Leg Extensions: Leg extensions target the quadriceps muscles, including the vastus medialis. This exercise can help to strengthen the muscle and prevent injury.
- Lunges: Lunges are a great exercise for targeting the quadriceps muscles, including the vastus medialis. They also help to improve balance and stability.
- Step-ups: Step-ups are another exercise that targets the quadriceps muscles and helps to improve balance and stability. They can be done with a step or bench and can be modified to increase or decrease difficulty.
- Squats: Squats are a popular exercise for strengthening the lower body, including the quadriceps muscles. However, it’s important to use proper technique to avoid injury and to start with lighter weights or bodyweight before progressing to heavier weights.
- Clamshells: Clamshells are a great exercise for strengthening the hips and glutes, which can help to improve overall lower body stability and reduce the risk of injury to the vastus medialis muscle.
Stay healthy, seek professional advice & consult your doctor
Well, I hope this was helpful. As I’m wrapping this up, it’s a beautiful spring Sunday and I’ll be heading out for a trail run on some easy conditions. It took me a while to appreciate proper training, but as I’m now well over 50 I truly understand it’s impact.
This is my story, and I am in no way an expert. This blog is not advice and before undertaking any physical activity you should consult with a medical professional or trainer.