What is Patella Tendonitis?
Patella tendonitis also known as jumper’s/runner’s knee and is a common overuse injury that causes inflammation and pain in the tendon just below the patella/knee cap. Having the appropriate knee brace (insert link for “knee brace” page) will help reduce inflammation by absorbing some of the stress and can be used as a preventative support.
What causes Patella Tendonitis?
Patella tendonitis is caused by continuous stress and trauma to the patella tendon, usually a result of the stress caused by jumping and landing. The patella tendons are able to absorb a high amount of shock and stress through conditioning. Although over prolonged periods of time and lack of resting and recovery time will result in tiny tears in the tendon and tendonitis developing.
Other causes include:
- Lack of mobility – range of motion
- Lack of flexibility
- Tight leg muscles – quadriceps/hamstrings causing strain on the tendons
- Hard surfaces such as concrete – can cause higher amounts of stress and trauma for the tendon
- Pain is felt in the patella when bending the knees
- Pain or discomfort is felt with prolonged sitting – stiffness in the knees
- Pain is present when performing jumping and running actions
- Tenderness and redness of the affected area
- General stiffness in the knee joints when the body is not warmed up
There are 3 main areas where a tendon injury will occur:
- Musculotendinous junction – where the tendon connects to the muscle
- Mid-tendon – called non-insertional tendinopathy
- Tendon insertion – where the tendon is directly inserted into the bone
Pain in the mid-tendon is where pain will usually occur with tendonitis and other sporting injuries related to over-excessive physical activities.
Patella tendonitis, is quite common for sporting athletes and will rarely develop into a serious injury. If treated and cared for in the early stages, patella tendonitis can be self-managed. Conducting massages and daily stretches helps reduce tightness in the surrounding muscles and increases flexibility. Furthermore strengthening exercises and increasing range of motion in the lower body aids in relieving stress and impact from the tendons during sports.
Other treatments include:
- Ice/cryotherapy to reduce the inflammation in the tendon
- Rest to allow the tendon to recover
If patella tendonitis heavily affects your performance during sports, check out our range of knee braces and supports specifically made to support the knees and absorb the shock from high impact activities. See our Brace Advisor here to see what brace suits your needs.