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Patellar Tendinitis Physiotherapy
Also known as "jumper's knee", patellar tendinitis is a condition that results from an inflammation of the patellar tendon.
patellar tendon is the connecting structure that bridges the patella
(also known as knee cap) to our tibia (our shin bone). If you look at
the knee and knee cap, you'd find that our knee cap is a "loose and
floating" bone (known as sesamoid bone) which connects our quadriceps
(thigh front muscles) to the tibia via the patellar tendon.
that means that our patellar tendor is the connecting rope of the strong
front of thigh muscles (quadriceps) which is instrumental in the way we
move - it helps our quadricep muscles to straighten/extend the lower
leg so that we can:
- walk, jog, run, sprint
- kick a ball or throw a kick
- pedal a bicycle
- and more
Patellar Tendinitis symptoms
The main symptoms of patellar tendinitis are generally:
- over the patellar tendon area.
Sharp pain is usually experienced during activity/sports doing jumps or runs/sprints and tends to "linger" as a dull aching pain after the activities.
In the early part of the injury, the pain may only be experienced during the
of the sports/activities, but as patellar tendinitis, if left untreated and if it progresses, it will become increasingly painful and uncomfortable. Even "normal" everyday activities such as
- climbing down and upstairs or
- sitting down or standing up from/to a chair/car seat
- getting up or down from a kneeling position
can be painful.
Upon testing and palpations, patient often find that direct pressure on the patellar tendon can be very sore or even painful, and this is usually the tell-tale sign. Sometimes, you may need to do an X-ray to rule out the possibility of bone spurs, or if your patellar tendinitis has been very chronic (been affecting you for months or years), you may want to consider doing an MRI to rule out tendon degeneration.
cause of patellar tendinitis
The simplest and commonest cause of patellar tendinitis is basically overuse and wear-and-tear.
This happens usually in individuals who participate in sports/activities that involves in lots of jumping such as:
- high jump/triple jump/long jump
hence that's why it was called "jumper's knee".
But frankly, it can happen to individuals who run, play soccer, dance or skate too.
Another and less common cause is direct trauma/injury to the patellar tendon.
Other common causes are as below:
- too quick to increase in the frequency of training
- too quick to increase in the intensity of training
- too quick to transition from one sport to another without adequate training
- repeated training on a rigid surface (high impact)
- insufficient flexibility exercises
- insufficient base strength of the quadriceps muscle
- reduced flexibility of the thigh muscles (quadriceps and hamstring muscles)
- muscle imbalance, if some muscles in your leg are much stronger than others than normal
- patella alta, a condition in which the knee cap is structurally much higher than the knee joint
- being obese or overweight
- foot conditions, either a flat foot or a raised arch can impose high strain on the patellar tendon
patellar tendinities physiotherapy treatments
- Consider increasing/introducing more rest time during activity and between each sessions
- Cut back from activities that includes jumping and running but continue other non-pain-inducing activities
- Consider ice/cold therapy too decrease inflammation during and post sports/activities
Physiotherapy, Correcting Improper Habits And Body Mechanics
- regular deep tissue release therapy to loosen tight muscles especially in hamstrings and quadriceps
- then regular deep stretching and mobilizing of the thigh muscles and hamstrings that tends to tighten up with sitting, to normalize and equalize force generation and distribution in our legs
- strengthening the quadriceps muscle
- learning and solidifying proper form in take off and landing techniques
- ultrasound therapy to accelerate soft tissue healing
Patellar Tendon Strap
or taping techniques may help unload pressure from your hurt patellar
tendon and prevent aggravation. Useful especially before race/exercises (swing by and we can help tape you up)
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