Patellar Tendon Pain: Symptoms, Exercises, and Treatment
Patellar tendonitis is also known as jumper’s knee. The pain related to the Patellar tendon can be mild or severe. It is a common injury or inflammation which happens when the tendon connecting your kneecap and shinbone is damaged.
According to a study, almost 14 percent of Volleyball players have been diagnosed with jumper’s knee. This ratio moves higher in professional athletes. Here we will discuss what are the treatments and exercises available if you get affected.
What is Patellar Tendonitis?
This condition is related to tendons. Tendons are very strong and flexible tissues that join muscles and bones together. These tendons help movements in bones. When a tendon gets too much pressure or strain, this creates fine hairlines in it.
This causes pain and inflammation. Patellar Tendonitis is a very common injury in people involved in running and jumping. When a tendon connecting the kneecap and shinbone is damaged this condition is known as Patellar tendonitis.
When you feel pain or tenderness at the base of your kneecap it is a very early symptom. Some people have reported burning and swelling at the kneecap. Symptoms also depend on the severity of the tendon damage. Another common symptom is that you will feel pain in the knee while kneeling down or getting back up.
At the start, the pain may disappear after a time and then start back again. In some cases, at the start, the pain only occurs during a sports activity or during exercises. The intensity of pain will increase over time when the damage makes deep roots.
When the jumper’s knee painfully develops itself, you will have difficulty moving your knee. You can face difficulty while sitting in a car, using stairs (both up and down), and doing other daily activities. If any of these conditions last more than a few days, you must see a doctor. Most often our body's healing system fixes it automatically after two or three days.
Exercises to Prevent Patellar Tendon Pain
There are some exercises that you can adopt to treat the patellar tendonitis issue. However, you must consult a doctor before starting any exercises. If you start doing exercise too much this can further damage your Patellar tendon. You must be careful with exercises and progress slowly over time.
1. Quad Stretch
Get the support of a wall or chair with one hand. Then use the other hand to grasp your ankle and gently fold your leg so your foot can reach your buttocks. Wait in this position for thirty seconds and then release your ankle. Next, repeat the same quad stretch for second leg.
Stand upright and keep the width of the shoulders and feet the same. Now bend your knees slowly while keeping your back straight. Go down to an extent that you feel is comfortable with you. Repeat the procedure a maximum of 10 times in one go.
On the other side, if you feel too much pain while doing squats, then you can lift your heels one or two inches. You can use a thick book or anything similar, this helps to keep the strain lower while squatting.
3. Hamstring Stretch
Stretch one leg straight in front, while sitting on the floor. Fold your second leg while your feet facing the knee, (see reference picture). Now bend your body slowly towards the foot. Keep this position for 30-40 seconds. Now follow the same steps with the second leg.
There are multiple treatment options available, but it depends on your condition and the severity of the injury. The very first step every doctor will follow is to avoid all activities which can put a stroke in the knees. The next step is to rest for a few days, so that body starts recovering itself. Although this is a traditional way of treatment for Patellar Tendonitis, but it works.
The doctor may prescribe your non-steroid drugs to help relieve pain and inflammation. Most often the recommended medicine is ibuprofen (Advil) and other similar options. Depending on the severity of the pain sometimes you may need a corticosteroid injection. But it can weaken your muscles and leave you prone to future ruptures.
Different types of physical therapy are available to help you strengthen your legs and thigh muscles. You cannot go for therapy, while you are experiencing severe pain. Follow the suggestion or treatment plan by a qualified doctor until you get fit. Different types of therapies are available which include ICE massage after warm-up exercise, and stretching and strengthening exercises are also part of it.