Knee Extensors (Quadriceps)

Fellow stroke survivor/blogger Dean has a post about knee extensors.  Well this relates to my last post so I’ll write about it.  The knee extensors are the quadriceps.  Knee extension means the leg straightens.  The quads are the big muscles on the front of the thigh.  After a stroke, no matter where the stroke was, you’ll almost always have something wrong with these muscles.  They’ll often be weak.  In my case, there was no weakness but they seemed weak and didn’t work right because I lost all coordination.  The quadriceps are involved in A LOT of actions.  Walking, standing up, scooting, bending over, kneeling, crawling, sitting down, climbing stairs, etc.  A LOT.  Dean’s post talks about the corticospinal tract.  This is a nerve thing and not important for you as a stroke survivor to know.  What you should know is this….A muscle works better when it is stretched.  So the quadriceps are going to work better when the knee is bent a lot rather than when it is bent a little.  You can overstretch a muscle and then it won’t work as well but this will rarely be a problem for stroke survivors.  So stretch a muscle before you use it!  Also, get the knee extensors as strong as you can.  Exercises you can do at home for the quads are squats, lunges, step ups, step downs, walking.  Hmm, if you want more exercises email me!

Categories: Health, Rehab, Stroke stuff

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