WHAT IS PATELLAR TENDONITIS?
Patellar tendonitis aka Jumpers Knee is an injury to the tendon connecting your kneecap (patella) to your shinbone. The patellar tendon works with the muscles at the front of your thigh to extend your knee so you can kick, run and jump. It is most common in athletes whose sports involve frequent jumping (i.e. basketball and volleyball). This is because of the repetitive snapping affect that occurs on the tendon from the quadriceps. However, even people who don’t participate in jumping sports can get patellar tendinitis.
HOW DID I GET PATELLAR TENDONITIS?
Patellar tendinitis is a common overuse injury, caused by repeated stress on your patellar tendon. The stress results in tiny tears in the tendon, which your body attempts to repair. But as the tears in the tendon multiply, they cause pain from inflammation and weakening of the tendon. When this tendon damage persists for more than a few weeks, it’s called tendinopathy.
A combination of factors may contribute to the development of patellar tendinitis, including:
- Physical activity. Running and jumping are most commonly associated with patellar tendinitis. Sudden increases in how hard or how often you engage in the activity also add stress on the tendon, as can changing your running shoes.
- Tight leg muscles. Tight thigh muscles (quadriceps) and hamstrings, which run up the back of your thighs, can increase strain on your patellar tendon.
- Muscular imbalance. If some muscles in your legs are much stronger than others, the stronger muscles could pull harder on your patellar tendon. This uneven pull could cause tendinitis.
Many of our soft tissue tools (i.e. Graston technique, rapid release and ultrasound) will help resolve the ailment. Foam rolling and using a running stick are great lost cost ways to prevent the formation of trigger points around the knee. If you’re a runner and your suffering from patellar tendonitis, try experimenting with different running shoes and/or switching to a more midfoot or toe first strike pattern. Heel striking will always be 100% the wrong way to land on an outstretched foot. The natural way to land is with your forefoot and spring off using the Achilles tendon. For more information, try looking up the Pose Method on Google.