How many of you do have the nagging pain in the middle of you knee, right beneath the knee cap? Does your pain get worse when you press on your patellar tendon? You may have difficulties going up and down the stairs or running and jumping. Even bending the knee can cause you discomfort. Well, then there are big chances that you are suffering from jumper’s knee. Let us dive more about this problematic condition and show you how to treat it the right way.
What Is Jumper’s Knee?
The medical term for jumper’s knee is patellar tendonitis (also known as patellar tendinopathy).
The patella tendon in the front of the knee can become inflamed, which is known as patella tendonitis. The name “Patella tendinopathy” is more suitable since in chronic, long-term instances, wear and tear or degeneration is more prevalent than acute inflammation.
The patella ligament, commonly known as the patella tendon, is quite powerful. It connects the shin bone or tibia to the patella (kneecap). Particularly while jumping and landing, the powerful quadriceps muscles at the front of the thigh strain on the kneecap, creating enormous pressure via the patella tendon.
The repetitive rubbing of patellar tendon against the shin bone can lead to tendon getting inflamed.
What Causes Jumper’s Knee?
Overuse injuries include jumper’s knee. Practically speaking, tendon degeneration rather than acute inflammation—which should subside after a few days of rest—is more likely to be the cause of the your patellar tendon pain.
Microtears and collagen degradation develop in the tendon as a result of repetitive movement and joint stresses. Even though it is an overuse injury, a lot of different aspects contribute to the increased risk of you developing Jumper’s knee.
First and foremost the overuse injuries are caused because of bad training and resting habits.
You probably are not resting enough for your body to be able to recover adequatly. There are big chances that you are not performing enough strength training as well. Weak quadriceps muscles can be the cause of your issues. Maybe you are strength training but not focusing on the right muscles. Underdeveloped inner thigh muscle VMO, vastus medialis obliquus, calf or feet muscles, even outer glute muscle (gluteus medialis) can make your activities harder for your knees. This may lead to imbalances in your body and your knee taking on more pressure than it should.
Even your body’s biomechanics can put you at disadvantage and risk for developing Jumper’s knee. This can be seen on your Q angle of the knees, meaning if you are knock-kneed, bow legged or not. Your biomechanics can be worked on by using proper strength and mobility training regim. Even orthotics can be of help.
If you are child or a teenager the cause of your pain can be because of one simple reason. That is because you are still growing. Usually the pain will subside by itself but it can take time. While the pain lasts you can still benefit from strength training and getting yourself a specific knee brace.
I will talk more about treatment below.
How To Treat Jumper’s Knee The Right Way?
There are no quick fixes for getting rid of Jumper’s knee entirely. My philosophy is always moving. Meaning you should always be moving, movement is the key for recovery. I understand that it can be painful for some even to walk and bend the knee but you still have to find the way. Ride a bicykle at the lowest resistance level, walk with walking sticks so that you relieve the pressure your knees have to take. If you can walk pain free then you should maybe try adding extra steps during your day. Find the technique that works for you. Maybe you dont have time for long walks or they make your knee feel sore. Try splitting them up into shorter but more frequent walks.
You probably wonder if you should put ice or cold bandages at your hurting knee. Especially as many other sites say that you should.
Putting ice on the injured area is only there to subside the pain for a little while. But it will not get rid of the inflammation. More so, it will make the recovery time longer. Why you may ask. Well it is because inflammation is our body’s way to inform us that there is harm in the area and inflammation is its way of trying to repair itself. Similar thing happens when you get a fever. Body raises its temperature, get inflamed, to fight off the virus. That is why i promote movement so much. Movement will bring circulation and provide the area with new fresh healing substances that our body produces.
Because circulation is the the key, you may try some short duration hot and cold therapy. Switching from hot to cold and vice versa leads to better circulation in your body.
Movement is always the number one step. There are always tools that can lead to instant pain relief. It is important that you do not depend on them and neglect your strength training.
As I mentioned above, there are specific braces that are beneficial , especially for children and teenager.
A simple patella taping procedure can help ease the symptoms of patella tendinitis. It functions by correcting the force vectors that pass through the tendon.
Your patella tendon is compressed slightly below the knee, varying the angle at which it pushes on the patella and easing pressure on the troublesome region.
- Purchase Zinc Oxide Tape
Jumper’s Knee Strap
To lessen discomfort and alleviate the tension on the tendon, wear a knee brace or jumper’s knee strap.
A jumper’s knee strap goes around your knee, over the tendon, and below the kneecap. As a result, the tendon’s angle with regard to the patella shifts, altering the portion of the tendon through which forces are conveyed.
- Purchase Jumper’s Knee Strap
Orthotics may be for you suffering from knocked knees or have improper running technique. Getting customized shoe insoles can be a partial solution. You can even get insoles with arch support without going to orthopedic doctor. They may not fit as perfectly but will do a great job providing support for your feet. Not to mention that you will save quite a lot of money.
You can even get softer insoles or heel cups to provide you with extra cushioning. This will make your landing, foot strike softer. Reducing the impact on your tendons and muscles. Try getting shoes that provide extra support with soft but sturdy insoles. They can make your everyday life quite easier.
I want to put emphasis on that this is partial solution. Orthotics and chinging shoes can be a big part of you resolving your issues but there are usually internal, bigger factor that contributed to you developing Jumper’s knee. You still have to take care of your recovery time and strength training. Do not neglect them as they are the key for your long term health.
A conservative management strategy like the one indicated below works for the majority of patients. You should always try to get in touch with a physical therapist. They will do a thorough assessment of your body and make a customized rehabilitation plan just for you. They will even adjust it depending on how your body respenses to the treatment. You would not need to guess which exercises to do and can just focus on putting in the work.
Reduce activities that raise the pressure on the kneecap and upper leg (for example, jumping or squatting). There may be some “loading” exercises recommended.
Hip, knee, and ankle joint ranges of motion are assessed, along with joint motion and kinematics. Depending of how your biomechanics work, a physiotherapist will provide you with adequate treatment.
Stretch the hamstrings, gastrocnemius, iliopsoas, rectus femoris, adductors, quadriceps, gluteals, the iliotibial band. This means stretch muscles on both side of your thigh, the ones that bend and extend your leg in the knee. You should even stretch muscles surrounding your hip. Do not forget to stretch your calves and foot muscles as they probably are taking more strain than usual.
Particular strength exercises are frequently advised. Usually you will start with simple exercises such as going up and down the stair. Focusing on the excentric porshion and increasing the hight. On leg extension maschine you may focus on one leg excentrics or holding weight on the half way for 30 to 45 seconds. Different band or cable exercises for strengthening you gluteus medius or adductor and abductor muscles. Eccentric, isometric and concentric exercises for your calves may even be added.
There may be a need for further sports-specific joint, muscle, and tendon therapy.