How to Recover Quickly From a Dead Leg


A dead leg refers to the tearing of the muscles. Oh! That’s sounds and even feels painful. No one wants to experience this kind of bruising in their bodies.

If you are in contact sports, you might suffer from it. Most sports people go through this experience once in their sports career. The most common contact sports to experience this painful encounter are football and rugby. That doesn’t mean stop playing these sports, but you should educate yourself on how to treat these conditions.

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Let’s go over a few facts about the dead leg, as well as, symptoms and cures.

A dead leg is also known as a  quadriceps contusion, cork thigh, quadriceps hemorrhage.

Quadricepses are the muscles making your frontal thigh part look chubbier or even bulky. If you fall during a rugby game, those muscles can crush against your thighs and cause secondary bleeding within your quadriceps. This will cause the awful aching of a dead leg. 

The most common form of a dead leg is when you crash into a person during a game and your leg begins to swell. Minor versions of this injury can occur on a daily basis. However, a major dead leg needs a proper treatment.

Symptoms of a Dead Leg

If you’ve never experienced this awful injury, you’re in for a rude awakening.

The first symptom is a sharp pain at the time of impact. There will be restrictions when walking for any length of time. You may also experience frequent spasms and cramps in your leg.

Since the dead leg is internal bleeding in your quads, swelling and bruising will occur, showing the accumulation of painful clots.

When you suffer from a minor dead leg, you’re more likely to recover and still participate in games. You’ll have fewer incidents of pain after each game.

Recovering From A Dead Leg

The first step when dealing with a dead leg should be to calm yourself down. Sit down and avoid placing extra pressure on your already bruised leg. We recommend not touching the injured muscles until seeking medical attention.

It will take months to get back to your normal health. However, there are a few things you can do to help the guide the healing process. The most important is to avoid any kind of movement that causes a direct blood flow to the quadriceps in the first 48 hours. Do not take prolonged hot showers as it will cause spasms in the surrounding area.

Especially relevant, avoid doing any heat rubs with deep heat creams. Likewise, avoid massages, excessive activity, and lessen your alcohol consumption.

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Another helpful tool is crutches.

As far as recovery techniques, the first method is the RICE technique. Initiate this practice within the first 24 to 48 hours after the injury. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. It has proven to be the most effective method and first aid.

You should complete the second step of RICE within the first 72 hours. Apply frozen ice or pea bags on the swollen area. In addition, you should wrap the frozen material in a moist fabric. Each session should be 10 minutes long with intervals of two to three hours.

Next, compression should be done immediately after icing. Apply an elastic bandage around the bruised area. However, while your bandage should be firm, make sure not to have it too tight, causing more clotting to the injured area. Your doctor should recommend the right type of compression bandage for you.

When elevating your dead leg, it should be slightly above your heart level and onto a pillow or a bed for altitude.

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Although RICE is the go-to for recovery, some doctors will prescribe an ultrasound and electrical stimulation with a machine. Depending on the intensity of the injury, the treatment could last for a short amount of time or longer. This type of treatment is called Physiotherapy and has done wonders for dead legs.

Your physiotherapist can tell you the exact location of the tissue swelling, as well as the extremity of the swelling. In addition, they can give you techniques to reduce the pain followed by strengthening methods.

Another thing you can do is initiating slow stretching recovery exercises. However, stick to lighter ones during the first three days of injury.

How To Know You’re Recovered

The moment you are completely recovered you should be able to cure your knee at a 90-degree angle without any painful stiffness occurring afterward. Muscles are very stubborn to heal and may take months to get back to normal. Good luck with your healing!

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