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Chronic Quad Soreness

Is it the shoes?

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#1 sking

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 03:02 PM

For the past month, I have experienced continual soreness in my quads. It feels like a very deep soreness in the lower region, closer to my knee. At first, I figured it was normal soreness, but it never goes away. When I was out of town for the week of July 18, I didn't lift for a week, and it actually seemed to get worse.

I don't even think about it when I'm squatting, so it doesn't hinder my performance, especially once I get warmed up. However, when I'm just squatting down to get something out of the kitchen cabinet, it is very painful to get back up.

I began to think it was a knee injury, but it is equal in both legs and I'm thinking a little too high to be the knee (or is it?). I asked a PT about it yesterday (it was a group of 3 of them actually), and they all felt it was something in my lower back. Sounds strange since my back has never hurt, but they said there are nerves that can affect things all the way down to the toes without pain anywhere in between.

I'm not so sure it's my back, but I had a thought this morning though. The first day I started squatting in my Do-Wins (oly shoe), was actually the 8th of June, 2 months ago.
  • Could it be that the higher heal on my shoes is causing too much quad dominance? I searched around for this, but I'm getting opinions both ways, particularly here.
  • Should I try knee wraps?
  • I squatted barefoot for a long time before I got my shoes. Should I try that for a month or so?
  • I don't have a foam roller. Could that be the solution?
Anyone with a similar experience or solution?
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#2 FerrousMaverick

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 03:28 PM

A Chiropractor would tell you there could be something going on with the alignment in the lower lumbar region. All the nerves to the legs branch out from that area. Even a minor alignment problem could cause chronic pain like that.

That said, I was experiencing chronic pain in my knees squatting low bar. When I switched to high bar, the pain was gone after a couple sessions. I am feeling it in my quads a bit more with that bar position, so I will definitely say your mileage may vary (YMMV).

If the Do-Wins are the new thing prior to experiencing the pain, then squatting barefoot might be a good experiment to see if the heel is causing you pain.

A foam roller can also do wonders. It could be some flexibility you have to work on due to the slightly modified position.
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#3 sking

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 03:36 PM

Well, I guess it's time to invest in a foam roller anyway. I've been thinking a lot about that.

I will try barefoot squatting for a few weeks and see if there is any difference...at least to rule that out.

What kind of inflexibility do you suppose could affect my quads like that? Should I just stretch my quads more?
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#4 FerrousMaverick

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 04:05 PM

It might just be soft tissue work which the foam roller will take care of. But yes, do stretch your quads more, particularly after the session. In order to get a decent stretch on the quads, I have to get on my knees and do a lunge.
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#5 sking

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 04:16 PM

Wow, overwhelmed at the foam roller choices!

Anyone have a good experience without spending a lot?
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#6 FerrousMaverick

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 04:50 PM

The foam roller is a simple piece of equipment. 6" diameter, 36" long, and the only other choice is the color. I have a rather simple red one, which I think cost all of about $15. Something like this is great: http://www.amazon.co.../dp/B000Y4W9VA/
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#7 sking

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 05:09 PM

Thanks, Mav...that's just what I was looking for.

I'm beginning to realize that the problem is actually my squat form. Wow, I need to revisit Rip's book more often. I remember reading this, but I think I skimmed over it too fast: on page 47 is a picture of the TUBOW drill (terrribly useful block of wood) to monitor the issue of the knees going forward after the initial descent.

My knees are slamming forward at the bottom here:


I have probably caused myself some form of tendinitis. Page 46 of Starting Strength:

If the knee slides forward at the bottom of the squat, the increased pull from the knee develops high tension against the attachments on the pelvis, which can cause an interesting type of tendinitis.

The slide is most likely due to going loose and losing the "active hip" at the bottom.
Also see this.

I think I still need to get that foam roller, but I need to stop doing that to my knees as I recover!
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#8 Beasley

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 01:58 PM

Ditto on the foam roller recommendation. Get one that's fairly thick, as the thin ones don't feel that stable to be on (my dad got me two when I mentioned planning to get them, a surprise gift!)

Another thing that you can do to torture your soft tissue is get a couple of tennis balls, hold them together, and bind them up in duct tape so that they almost resemble a peanut shell That's a great 'extra mini' foam roller, especially for the back. Very brutal, but worth it a lot.
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#9 ScottT

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 01:50 AM

I second the soft tissue work, from what I understand it should help a little alleviating the tendonitis issue, especially if you are trying to fix your squat form.
I'd probably also second the bare foot lifting too. Hope it clears up quickly.
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