Patella Tendinopathy ( Jumper’s Knee )
What is Patella Tendinopathy?
Patella Tendinopathy, or Jumper’s Knee, is an overuse injury affecting the tendon located just below the kneecap. It was previously known as Patella Tendonitis (“itis” refers to inflammation), however the condition is now recognised as being degenerative, not inflammatory. It is commonly known as “Jumper’s Knee” due to the increased stresses placed through this tendon with repetitive jumping and landing activities.
Signs & Symptoms
- pain at the front of the knee just below the kneecap
- the tendon and lower kneecap may be sore to touch
- aggravated with repetitive jumping, squatting, step ups, or lunges
- swelling may be present over the tendon
- aching or stiffness, especially in the mornings
- usually a gradual onset, commonly associated with increased activity
What causes Patella Tendinopathy?
Excessive jumping and landing places repetitive stresses through the patella tendon. If the tendon is repeatedly strained without adequate recovery time to heal and repair, the tendon can become inflamed and degenerative, leading to chronic pain and weakness.
There are a number of factors which may contribute to developing Patella Tendinopathy:
- a sudden increase in training intensity or volume
- training on hard surfaces
- reduced flexibility
- lower limb muscle imbalances
- poor hip stability
- inappropriate footwear or excessive pronation (flat feet)
How can we help?
- Soft Tissue Massage to improve flexibility in tight muscles. This will be combined with a home-based Stretching Program.
- Acupuncture / Dry Needling to release trigger points and improve flexibility.
- Provide Taping or Braces to relieve pain during aggravating activities.
- Develop a Strengthening Program to improve lower limb strength and hip stability.
- Perform a Jumping and Landing Analysis to assess your technique and improve form if necessary.
- Foot and Shoe Assessment to identify if your feet may be contributing to your injury. Orthotics can then be prescribed if appropriate.
- Address any Training Errors. This will involve examining your current and future training schedule and advising you on an appropriately modified training program. We may recommend alternate forms of exercise to maintain your cardiovascular fitness during this period.
Is your knee pain stopping you from performing at your peak? Are you worried you’ll never get rid of it and you’ll eventually have to give up exercise forever?
See an expert at Spine & Sports Physiotherapy now to get back to performing at your best and free of pain or injury!!!