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Understanding Patellar Tendonitis or Jumper’s Knee

Patellar tendonitis or jumper’s knee is a common injury from overworking one’s knee joint. This condition is often characterized by pain or soreness whenever you try to walk, run, or jump. This blog will discuss what patellar tendonitis is and its various causes, symptoms, and treatment.

What is Jumper’s Knee?

Jumper’s knee is another name for patellar tendonitis. This condition is the inflammation of the patellar tendon. Since this tendon connects your kneecap to your tibia, frequent impact and pressure from constant and sudden movements can put unnecessary stress on it. Since the patella tendon works with your leg muscles for walking, kicking, and jumping, it can be strained due to the constant leg muscle contractions.

Jumper’s knee is often seen in athletes who compete in high-intensity sports like basketball, volleyball, and football. The movements required in these sports can exert a lot of pressure on the knees, making athletes more prone to developing this knee condition. 

What are the Causes of Patellar Tendonitis?

Patellar tendonitis is mainly due to overworking your knee joints. Sudden or explosive movements and constantly landing on hard surfaces can quicken the development of this condition. The repeated pressure and stress on your knees can damage your patellar tendon by causing small tears to this connective tissue. 

What Are The Signs of Jumper’s Knee?

Even if you’re not an athlete, you can still develop patellar tendonitis if you work out regularly.

Here are some signs that you can look out for if you think you have jumper’s knee:

Pain

Affected knees become inflamed over time and can cause pain when moving. Injured knee tendons can make walking, bending, or even standing uncomfortable and unbearable. 

Swelling

The stress and tears on your patellar tendons can cause your knees to swell. They may look red and slightly larger than usual. The knee pains mentioned earlier can also be accompanied by swollen knees.

Restricted mobility

An inflamed knee can limit and make your movements stiff. You may find it difficult to stretch, straighten your legs, and walk. Jumping and other explosive actions can become uncomfortable or lead to more severe injury. Athletes should never ignore this injury as it can worsen and be career-ending over time.

Chiropractic Care for Treating Jumper’s Knee

The type of treatment that your doctor can prescribe for your patellar tendonitis depends on the severity of the injury. Common remedies that your doctor can recommend are the following:

Rest

The most probable cause for your injured knee is overwork. Your doctor may ask you to halt all strenuous activities to give your knees time to recover. Giving your knees a break will help the swelling subside and allow the tendon tears and stress to heal.

Massage Therapy

Undergoing massage therapy can help treat patellar tendonitis since it can decrease the tightness of the various adjacent muscles around the affected area. This procedure speeds up the recovery process since it increases circulation and improves the strength and flexibility of your knees.

Chiropractic Adjustments

Undergoing chiropractic care is another option for treating your jumper’s knee. Hands-on adjustments like Soft Tissue Mobilization (STM) and Myofascial Release (MYR) stretches and applies deep pressure on the affected area to release different tissue restrictions and mobilize your knees. These procedures relieve pain and restore the optimal flexibility and range of motion of your legs and knees. STM and MYR stretches also promote faster recovery from your patellar tendonitis.

Joint Manipulation

This procedure can help treat patellar tendonitis since it can restore the optimal motion of the affected area. This non-invasive procedure applies controlled pressure based on what your joint needs. This is a quick and painless way of relieving pressure on your knees so your patellar tendonitis won’t worsen.

Cold Therapy

Undergoing cold therapy can also help manage the swelling of your knees. This procedure can use ice packs or cold gel to wrap your knees for around ten minutes to an hour, depending on the recommendation of your doctor.

Home Strengthening Exercises & Stretches for Jumper’s Knee

Patellar tendonitis takes a toll on your knees and your ability to move around to do daily activities and chores. Managing and taking care of your body is vital for a swift recovery. Rehabilitation for your knees includes strengthening and reinforcing your tendons and other leg muscles. Here are some exercises that you can do at home to help you manage your patellar tendonitis injury:

Wall squats

Rest your back on the wall and slowly go into a squatting position for this exercise. Hold it for about 45 seconds and repeat it for five sets.

Knee extensions

Lay or sit down on a chair and slowly raise your foot to straighten your legs. Extend your knees to stretch out the tendons and strengthen them. Do this ten times for three sets.

Lunges

Stand up straight and gently go into a lunging position with both knees at a 90-degree angle. Be careful not to force your knees to bend during each lunge to avoid injury. Do three sets of 10 lunges on each leg.

Stretching

Making sure your joints and muscles are flexible is vital for managing tendonitis and keeping your body in its best shape. You can incorporate knee stretches in your exercise by bringing your injured knee to your chest and hugging your leg for at least 10 seconds. You can also pull your foot back towards your glutes and hold the position. Repeat this exercise at least three times for better results. 

Taping & Foam Rolling

Taping your knees gives them extra support to decrease the strain on the tendons and ligaments. This will reduce the pressure on the knees and help them recover faster. Additionally, using a foam roller can stretch and relieve tension from your legs and knees.

Check out the LifeClinic blog today and learn more about other health conditions, exercises, and wellness tips.

Dr. Reza Alizadeh

Dr. Reza is the visionary behind LifeClinic. His leadership is the foundation for the patient and team member experience, and overall direction of the LifeClinic. As the creator of IMJT, Dr. Reza continues to be the primary teacher on this technique.

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