Patellar Tendinopathy is a common overuse injury. It is also known as jumper’s knee. It occurs when there is pain in the tendon that is located below the knee
What Causes Patellar Tendinopathy?
The forces of repetitive jumping and landing places excessive strain on the patellar tendon. When this load is continually applied and the tendon isn’t able to repair itself degeneration and microtearing of the tendon results.
Risk factors associated with tendinopathies include:
- Rapid increase in volume of training i.e. intensity, duration, frequency, distance
- Poor lower limb biomechanics
- Tight quadriceps
What are the symptoms of Patellar Tendinopathy?
Often pain is insidious and localised to the Patellar Tendon. In the early stages of the injury it is sore after activity however, as the injury progresses there is pain during activity. There might be pain at night with stiffness in the morning. It is worse with running and jumping activities. You may also notice weakness of your quadriceps.
Patients often respond well to physiotherapy treatment
Treatment for Patellar Tendinopathy
Physiotherapy aims to restore pain- free range of movement with capacity to return to normal activity through soft tissue releases, knee motor control and strengthening exercises, stretches and proprioceptive exercises. Correcting movement patterns and joint mechanics will also help to prevent future episodes of pain.
The 1st Phase of treatment is pain relief using isometric exercises. Rio et al (2015) found that isometric exercises helps reduce pain immediately for at least 45 minutes. Rest and ice is also important.
Phase 2 involves an eccentric strengthening program where the muscle is required to contract while it is lengthening.
Your Physiotherapist will discuss your treatment goals and educate you about the condition, the rehabilitation process and preventative methods to reduce the risk of future injury.
To book an appointment with one of our skilled Physiotherapists please call (02) 8068 8832 or email us at [email protected].
Rio E, Kidgell D, Purdam C et al (2015) Isometric exercise induces analgesia and reduces inhibition in patellar tendinopathy. Br J Sports Med 2015;49:1277-1283