What is Patella tendinopathy (Jumper’s Knee)
Also known as jumper’s knee, patella tendinopathy comes in the form of pain on the front of the knee. This is a jumper’s worst enemy! I have experienced it for myself and seen so many basketball and volleyball players come in for this injury because they can barely walk the day after a game or training. It can be a very debilitating injury for these athletes, but despite it being so painful for some people, can they be treated and can people return to exercise pain-free?
What do tendons do?
Tendons are tissues that connect muscle to bone and are great at storing and releasing energy. Think of an elastic band being stretched and then snapping back, that is what your patella tendon does to efficiently give you extra energy. A lot of people do plyometric exercises to improve the elastic ability of the patella tendon so that they can jump higher.
How is Jumper’s Knee caused?
- This can be caused from increasing the amount of jumping drastically over a short period of time.
- After taking time off from weight training and sports and then returning to sports without gradually progressing into jumping.
When this happens jumping when playing sports can become painful and can linger over the next few days, even making walking difficult!
How do I know if I have patella tendinopathy?
Patellar tendinopathy normally presents as pain specific to the bottom part of the knee cap where the tendon attaches to the knee cap. You can normally identify the point of the pain with one finger. This pain is normally felt when launching into a jump. Sitting with knees bent is also a symptom of patella tendinopathy. A good physiotherapist can identify your patella tendinopathy with physical assessments, so a scan is not always required to diagnose you.
How do you treat Jumper’s Knee?
Firstly, cutting out the painful activities that are aggravating the knee will help to significantly reduce the amount of knee pain. This may mean cutting out training, plyometric training or games. The normal treatment of patellar tendinopathy is exercise. The correct exercise completed with good technique and form can be therapeutic for the knee so that you can return to playing sports pain-free. It is important that you see a physiotherapist experienced in treating patella tendinopathy. This is so that your exercise is correctly coached and performed and so that you can be appropriately progressed to sports-specific movements such as jumping, sprinting and bounding. Being progressed too quickly can aggravate your knee pain and not being progressed quick enough may prolong your time on the bench.
Patella tendinopathy sucks. Trust me, I’ve been there. Jumping is the main aggravating factor when it comes to patella tendinopathy. Exercise for the knee can really help with patella tendinopathy which I have experienced for my knee as well. With the right guidance, the patella tendon can be easily treated allowing you to safely return to exercise and sports pain-free.
About Brian Lee & Primal Physiotherapy
Brian graduated from Latrobe University with a Bachelor of Health Science and Masters in Physiotherapy Practice.
Brian is a certified strength and conditioning coach having worked with a range of athletes from Olympic to casual level. Brian enjoys training at the gym as he believes that this is the best way to give you the results you need to get your injuries back on track. When not in the clinic, Brian loves to shoot some hoops! Brian is a Physiotherapist at Primal Physiotherapy which is a leading Physiotherapy clinic with state of the art rehab facility to help their clients return back to life, work, and exercise pain-free.