Patella tendonitis is inflammation in the tendon running between the knee cap and the shin bone. This condition, also known as ‘jumpers knee’, is commonly seen in sports people but may also affect people in non jumping activities especially individuals who suddenly increase their exercise level having been inactive.
The patella tendon allows the thigh muscles to straighten the knee and hold it straight. It is a robust tendon capable of taking large forces.
Jumping sports are the classic causes of patella tendonitis. The process of tendonitis arises from damage in the tendon from repetitive stresses and forces on the knee. Your body in trying to heal and repair this microscopic damage causes inflammation in the tendon. If the tendon is not allowed to recover as it tries to heal then chronic inflammation or tendinopathy sets in which is harder to manage. It is for this reason that rest is an important part of managing Patella Tendonitis
Painkillers called non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) are used to settle down the inflammation. These drugs are effective at easing the acute inflammation. In addition we recommend the RICE approach.
Rest is important to stop the aggravating activities and inflammatory response.
Ice helps reduce the pain when applied for short periods.
Compression of the tendon with special braces has been effective in easing the symptoms by managing the loads across the tendon
Elevation in the early phase helps reduce the swelling around the knee Having allowed the knee to settle down the next step is to prevent recurrence and allow return to activities. Physiotherapy and home directed exercises are very important. Below is a video showing some helpful exercises.
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