Today was my Reformer for Recovery Pilates class. We started by doing a few gentle squats. When I say a few, I mean three or four. Gentle means a very shallow squat, just as far as is comfortable, and no added weight at all. I did one just fine. Then every single other one had my quadriceps (thigh muscles) burning. We weren’t holding them, we were just dipping down and straightening up. The muscles were only burning when I was in the squat position. I was barely squatting. As soon as I’d stand up, the burning would stop. The burn is EXTREMELY intense, and makes me want to collapse; pushing through the pain is almost impossible.
This photo shows me squatting (I took it just for this post) about the same I did in class. I may be a little lower than I was in class, actually. And yes, getting this photo burned really badly again, but I am currently on 1/2 a Tramadol and a full metaxalone so it wasn’t as intense. As you can see, these
aren’t shouldn’t be very taxing squats.
I know muscles burn when they’ve been overused. We had JUST STARTED! The only thing we’d done before that was a few heel raises to get our feet articulating. I hadn’t done anything before class that would exhaust my quads. I get a similar burn feeling, but no where near as intense, when I stretch my quads (by standing and grabbing one foot behind me to stretch through the quad). I always thought burning when I stretched was just releasing any build up from any exercise (but I thought it was a little odd since I don’t exercise my legs much).
I can’t seem to find anything about this. When I Google various term combinations, I keep getting information about doing squat exercises and the normal burning fatigue from intense exercise. I’ve had the normal burning feeling, and while this is similar it is far more intense and comes on VERY quickly. It also only sticks around while I’m in the position that triggered it. It’ll go away instantly after I stop, unless I’ve pushed through it for too long (but then it’ll go away after a few minutes). I don’t know if this is something I should worry about, or which doctors should know. Does anyone have any ideas?
Attempted search terms:
- excessive lactic acid build up
- diseases that cause muscle burning
- overuse sensation in muscles early onset
- burning quadriceps after one unweighted squat
- burning quadriceps during squat only
- burning quadriceps during use only
Articles found from terms and looked at:
- “Lacitic Acidosis and Exercise” from WebMD
- “Musculoskeletal Pain” from Cleveland Clinic
- “What’s Causing This Burning Sensation?” from Healthline (and clicked on several of the links in the article)
- “Postexercise Muscle Soreness” from Medscape
- “Conditions Related to Degenerative Arthritis” from Arthritis-Health
- thread on a forum (Stack Exchange) about squatting pain
- “Why Do Your Thighs Burn on a Bicycle?” from Livestrong
- thread on a ski forum (Epic Ski) asking why their thighs burn when skiing