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What is Patella Tendinopathy and how to treat it

Patella Tendinopathy (also commonly referred to as Jumper’s Knee) is a failed healing process of the patella tendon that results in pain and stiffness at the front of the knee just below the knee cap.

It typically occurs in people who have either increased their training/exercise load

dramatically, or in those who perform heavy amounts of high and fast loads such as jumping or hopping. It is a common condition in those who play basketball, volleyball, high jump, football and ballet.

Common Symptoms of Patella Tendinopathy

  • Pain between your kneecap and where the tendon attaches to your shinbone (tibia)

  • Pain made worse with physical activity

  • Localised tenderness over the patella tendon

What causes Patella Tendinopathy?

Tendons are a connective tissue that connects muscles to bone. They can either act like a spring or a buffer. Some, like the achilles tendon are able to stretch and store energy, which can be released to perform powerful movements like running. Others, like the supraspinatus tendon in the shoulder mainly absorb pressing forces. Tendinopathy occurs when these forces are excessive.

Excessive jumping or landing strains the patella tendon. If the tendon is repeatedly strained, the result is a patellar tendinopathy (Jumper's Knee)

Immediate management

  1. Reduce (but not completely stop) walking, running, jumping until symptoms have reduced to a low level

  2. Avoid kneeling

  3. Limit deep squatting

  4. Limit stretching in the short term

How can Physiotherapy can help

  • Physiotherapy can help improve the way the muscles of your leg work to help reduce the load through the patella tendon. This may include hands on treatment such as massage or teaching you how to use a foam roller.

  • Specific strengthening and mobility exercises.

  • Teaching you how to manage or pace your training schedule.

  • Educate you on the do’s and don’t’s & get you back to your sport.

If you experience knee pain or think you may have jumper's knee, book an appointment with our Physiotherapist Luke Cusack today!


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