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Patellar Tendonitis

Patellar Tendonitis

The greatest level of stress through the patella tendon is during jumping and landing activities. During jumping, the quadriceps muscles provide an explosive contraction, which straightens the knee and pushes you into the air. When landing, the quadriceps muscle helps to absorb the landing forces by allowing a small amount of controlled knee bend.

Excessive jumping or landing strains the patella tendon. At first the damage may only be minor and not cause any problem. However, if the tendon is repeatedly strained, the lesions occurring in the tendon can exceed the rate of repair. The damage will progressively become worse, causing pain and dysfunction. The result is a patellar tendinopathy (tendon injury).

Who Usually Suffers Patellar Tendonitis?

Patellar tendonitis usually affects athletes involved in sports such as basketball, volleyball, soccer, football, track and field (running, high and long jump), tennis, dancing, gymnastics and skiing.

In older people the main cause of patellar tendinopathy is a result of degeneration which results from repetitive micro-damage over time. Also, some patients develop patella tendonitis after sustaining an acute injury to the tendon, and not allowing adequate healing. This type of traumatic patellar tendonitis is much less common than overuse syndromes.

Signs and Symptoms of Patellar Tendonitis

  • Anterior knee pain over the patella tendon
  • Pain made worse with jumping, landing or running activity and sometimes with prolonged sitting
  • Onset of pain is usually gradual and commonly related to an increase in sport activity
  • Localised tenderness over the patella tendon
  • Often the tendon feels very stiff first thing in the morning.
  • The affected tendon may appear thickened in comparison to the unaffected side

What Causes Patellar Tendonitis?

There are a number of factors which can contribute to the development of patellar tendinopathies. These include:

Training Errors:

  • Rapid increase in amount of training
  • Sudden increase in training intensity
  • Playing/training on rigid surfaces
  • Poor Flexibility
  • Tight quadriceps and hamstring muscles

Lower Limb Biomechanics

This can include poor foot posture, knee or hip control.

How Does Osteopathy Help Patellar Tendonitis?

There are a number of different causes of anterior knee pain. Patellar tendinopathy is just one of the potential conditions. The correct diagnosis is vital since treatment can significantly vary.

Luckily, Dr Kuhn is a highly skilled professional who can quickly assess and diagnose your knee injury. Once confirmed, he will ensure the correct injury management and rehabilitation to get you back to sport in the quickest time possible.

Common Patellar Tendonitis Treatment

In the early phase, Dr Kuhn with address the pain and inflammation using myofascial release, mobilizing the joint, dry needling and taping techniques or de-loading braces . Relative rest is advised from aggravating activity in the early stages. Your body is the best guide to know how much to rest the injured knee. If an activity hurts the knee then you should avoid doing it.

Complete rest is not usually necessary. If this is the case, Dr Kuhn can suggest some alternative exercise ideas which are low to no impact. This will allow you to maintain your cardiovascular fitness and maintain muscle strength without causing pain in your knee.

Stretching can also be started early in your rehab under instruction from Dr Kuhn to help with lower body flexibility. Even once your symptoms resolve you should incorporate a stretching program into your training to prevent re-occurrence.

Stretchbands are a fun and easy way to stretch and maintain your flexibility.

As pain allows, Dr Kuhn will start and progress you on a specific strengthening program designed to improve the strength of your quadriceps and the patella tendon to allow them to cope with the loads involved with your sport. Tendinopathies respond best to an eccentric based program.

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Emerald Clinic

366 Belgrave-Gembrook Road
Emerald 3782
PH 03 5968 6889

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Emerald Victoria

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Monday 1pm to 7pm
Tuesday 10am to 2pm
Wednesday 1pm to 6:30pm
Thursday 10am to 2pm
Friday 12pm to 5:30pm