Patella Tendonitis, commonly known as “Jumpers knee” is the inflammation of the Patella tendon. It is caused generally by overuse or repetitive overloading of the knee extensor mechanism. Approximately 20% of athletes, whose sports involve jumping, will experience this painful knee injury sometime in their career.
The patellar tendon is a flat ligament of around 5cm that attaches behind the patellar (knee cap) and joins to the tibia (shin bone) and works with your front thigh muscles to extend your leg when jumping and running. Repetitive jumping, landing and changing direction can strain or cause inflammation to the tendon causing patella tendonitis AND if left untreated will cause micro tears and degeneration in the tendon resulting in patellar tendinopathy.
Tight quadriceps and hamstring muscles or muscles imbalance, when some leg muscles are stronger than others and repetitive jumping or running are major causes.
Patellar tendonitis causes localized pain at the bottom front of the knee cap and this area may appear to be larger or swollen due to the inflammation. The area will be sore to touch and pain will be experienced after activity or when contracting the quadriceps muscle.
STOP! Don’t wait until the pain is unbearable before seeking treatment; if you do … this will increase the damage and rehabilitation and recovery will take much longer.
The initial treatment of patella tendonitis is to reduce the swelling and inflammation and it is recommended that Scenar therapy be administered at the earliest opportunity. Scenar will increase the body’s own innate healing function and assist in the reduction of swelling and inflammation.
The Scenar treatment uses the biofeedback system that targets and stimulates the C fibre nerves which influences the local treatment area through skin, muscle and blood and has a general effect on the nervous, endocrine and immune systems promoting and accelerating healing of the tendon.
It is important that the athlete take responsibility for their recovery by limiting or abstaining from the aggravating activity and doing stretching and strengthening exercises. Daily stretching of the quadriceps, calf and hamstring muscles as soon as pain levels allow are essential.
Isometric Quad exercises with little or no movement of the knee should be performed upwards of four times per day starting at 5 by 5 second reputations and building to 5 by 10 second reps each time.
Static strengthening exercises should also be started as soon as pain levels allow. Eccentric squats target the hamstrings, glutes and quads. It is important to realise that eccentric contractions occur when the muscle lengthens under tension and this occurs on the downward motion. This is the most important exercise to get right in the treatment and recovery from Patella tendonitis.
It is recommended to continue Scenar therapy to speed up healing, reduce inflammation and pain during the gradual return to activity and until the pain is no longer continuous.
Taping the knee during exercise will support the patella and keep it aligned within the femoral grove and thereby improving the pull of the quadriceps muscle which should improve function and reduce pain.
FREE recovery and exercise sheet is available from Energetic Wellness when receiving treatment for Patella Tendonitis, don’t delay book your treatment today.