I am looking for a quadriceps stretch that does not flex the knee. My client's movement at his left knee is very restricted, and he does not want to do any flexion of the knee at all.
It is tough to stretch the quadriceps without flexing the knee because all of those muscles cross that knee joint, and to lengthen the fibers, you would literally have to do that. The only thing you can do at the hip is to stretch the rectus femoris at the hip joint. A few suggestions include the following:
- Do you have access to a massage/stretch table where your client can lie at the end of the table, hold the opposite thigh to the chest and let the targeted leg hang off the table? Then you can assist in letting the knees stay straight, and slowly the client can let the knee flex as much he feels comfortable.
- Can your client bend the knee as when sitting in a chair? Or walking up and down stairs? Sometimes I find when I point out that they do a movement many times during the day, it eases the fear that they are unable to do it.
- If he really can't flex it, another suggestion is to use foam rollers to get some myofascial release without flexing the knee. He can just roll over the roller to release the quads.