The experienced physiotherapists here at The Physiotherapy Partners are experts at treating a number of sporting conditions. In this blog post, we are going to discuss patella tendonitis, more commonly known as jumper’s knee.
Jumper’s knee is the common name for patella tendonitis or patellar tendinopathy. It is an overuse injury which involves the patella tendon being overstressed by repeated movement causing tissue damage of that area.
The patella tendon is just below the patella, better known as your kneecap. The tendon is attached to both your kneecap and shin bone and moves the force of your quadriceps muscles as you straighten your knee. Your quadriceps are very important when you control your knee from a standing position such as walking down stairs, and are heavily involved in sports. This is especially true for activities that involve running, jumping or kicking, and, therefore constant changes in direction. Jumping and landing can cause strain, tear, and damage to your patella tendon in sports such as basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, track and field, football, tennis, rugby and dance.
Symptoms of jumper’s knee can include pain below the kneecap, pain when bending your knee such as walking down stairs, or stiffness of your knee. The injury is usually diagnosed after a physical examination of the knee. After a full diagnosis is given, your dedicated physiotherapist will work with you develop a tailored treatment plan based on your severity and needs.
The first stage of your recovery will involve relieving your pain. Your physiotherapist will discuss the most appropriate pain relief methods with you to get you the best treatment possible. During this time, you will also need to rest your knee and should avoid any activity which may cause pain.
Once your pain has been treated, if you need to maintain your fitness and muscle strength, your physiotherapist can suggest gentle exercises which have low or no impact on your knee. You will be advised a number of stretches to help prevent recurrence of the injury.
Your physiotherapist will then develop a strengthening program with you to help improve your strength of the knee. As your knee begins to get stronger you will be allowed to get more involved with sports, and a number of exercises will be advised to prevent re-injuring your patella tendon.
Don’t try and do too much too fast. Remember all physiotherapy is based on the individual and it may take you longer to recover than others. It is essential to work closely with your physiotherapist so they can recommend the best treatments for your recovery to suit your needs.
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