The moment you feel that sharp pain below your kneecap, you know something serious is going on. You may have patellar tendinitis. Most commonly known as “jumper’s knee” as it has been prevalence among jumpers, patellar tendonitis also affects 5% of runners.
With the right approach and proper stretches, patellar tendinitis can be treated.
Your patellar tendon is a short but very wide tendon that runs from your kneecap to the top of the tibia. The kneecap helps hold strong forces when doing activities such as jumping or running. When the patellar tendon needs to absorb a lot of force, it becomes prone to injury and stress which leads to patelllar tendonitis.
Patellar tendonitis early stage is usually characterized by stiffness specifically when walking downstairs or running downhill. The condition may worsen and remain painful during workouts. Among the most common reasons for patellar tendonitis are poor hamstring flexibility, poor leg strength and weak thigh muscles
Proper footwear is very essential to maintain a healthy patella tendon. Your ideal shoes should have lower heel-to-toes drop. With shoes that have higher heels, the knee excessively work forward, causing more tension to the patellar tendon.
RICE (Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate) therapy is a good first aid to treat patellar tendonitis. Once diagnose with patellar tendinitis, resting the affected area is essential for two days. More movements put more stress and pressure to the tendon, aggravating the condition and prolonging recovery. Apply ice to the affected area in the first 24 to 48 hours every few hours. Try to elevate the leg while applying ice. Compressing the affected area may help. .
Here are some effective patellar tendinitis exercises courtesy from Livestrong.com.
- Stability Routines. Use a chair to help balance during stability exercises. When you are ready to progress, sit on a stability ball and gently roll front to back and side to side. Once you are comfortable on the ball, add leg extensions and leg curls to your routine.
- Strength Routines. Single leg squats and wall squats are staple exercises to improve your knee joint and the muscles around your knee. As you become stronger, try leg extensions and leg curls on a machine with no weight before gradually adding weights to the machines.
- Water Exercises. Doing water exercises are a viable alternative to help you complete the exercises with less pain. The feel and temperature of the water can also be soothing to muscle aches and strains. Using a kickboard, alternate doing flutter, backstroke and breaststroke kicks to loosen and strengthen the tendons around your knee.
- Biomechanics. This may include strengthening targeted muscles around your knee and using advanced stretching to loosen others. You may also be fitted for orthotics.
Patellar Tendinitis Prevention
Proper warm up is essential to get the body ready, preparing the knees. With proper stretches you will feel less tightness and that is essential to preventing patellar tendinitis. Keep in mind that your stretches and exercises should not be painful and must not cause further tightness to the knees.
Here are some powerful stretches from Jump Science to prevent future occurrences of patellar tendinitis.
Physiotherapy for Patellar Tendonitis
Just like any type of injury, when the root cause of pain is not properly treated, the problem becomes reoccurring, worse, chronic.
The right patellar tendinitis treatment involves a series of low-impact exercises and strengthen program created to match with the level of your pain and help rehabilitate the affected area. These routines also aim to enhance flexibility. Advanced exercises are incorporated with the program once you start to feel your knee’s strength returning. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may be recommended to wear a custom orthotic.
Get proper treatment for your patellar tendinitis. Start with a no obligation appointment with pt Health Sturgeon Valley and let us help you treat the root cause of your pain.