St Albans Osteopathy Blog

Patella Tendonitis - Jumper’s Knee

Patella tendonitis is the inflammation, degeneration or rupture of the patella ligament and the tissue that surround it, leading to pain and discomfort in the area just below the knee cap. Overuse is the major cause of patella tendonitis. Activities that involve a lot of jumping or rapid change of direction are particularly stressful to the patella ligament. Participants of basketball, volleyball, soccer, and other running related sports are particularly vulnerable to patella tendonitis. Patella tendonitis can also be caused by a sudden, unexpected injury like a fall. Landing heavily on your knees can damage the patella ligament, which can lead to patella tendonitis.

Prevention

  • Warm up properly. A good warm up is essential in getting the body ready for any activity. A well- structured warm up will prepare your heart, lungs, muscles, joints and your mind for strenuous activity. Avoid activities that cause pain. Try to be aware of activities that cause pain or discomfort, and either avoid them or modify them.
  • Rest and Recovery. Rest is very important in helping the soft tissues of the body recover from strenuous activity. Be sure to allow adequate recovery time between workouts or training sessions.
  • Footwear. A good pair of shoes will help to keep your knees stable, provide adequate cushioning, and support your knees and lower leg during the running or walking motion.    
  • Strapping. Strapping, or taping can provide an added level of support and stability to weak or injured knees.

Exercises

  • Balancing Exercises. Any activity that challenges your ability to balance, and keep your balance, will help what is called, proprioception: - your body’s ability to know where its limbs are at any given time.
  • Stretching. To prevent patella tendonitis, it is important that the muscles around the knee be in top condition. Be sure to work on the flexibility of all the muscle groups in the leg.
  • Strengthening:

  1. Short-arc extensions are done sitting up or lying down. Use a rolled-up towel to support your thigh while you keep your leg and foot in the air for 5 seconds. Lower your foot as you bend your knee slowly. Repeat 10 times for each leg, twice a day.Straight-leg raises are done lying down. Lift your whole lower limb at the hip with the knee extended, and keep it up in the air for 5 seconds. Then lower slowly. Repeat 10 times for each leg, twice a day.
  2. Quadriceps isometric exercises are done sitting up, with your legs extended in front of you. Tighten your quadriceps muscles by pushing the knees down onto the floor. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times each leg, twice a day.
  3. Stationary bicycling on low tension setting improves your exercise tolerance without stressing your knee. Adjust your seat high enough so that your leg is straight on the down stroke. Start with 15 minutes a day and work up to 30 minutes a day.


May 24th 2019
 

Philip Bayliss, St Albans Osteopathy, 43 Thames Street, Christchurch 8013 ☎️ 03 356 1353