Patellar tendinitis 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 that you can kick, run and jump. For most people, treatment of patellar tendinitis can begin with some anti-inflammatory medication (if necessary), with physical therapy to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the knee.
There are a few different methods to treating someone with symptoms of patellar tendinitis, including:
- Stretching exercises –Regular, steady stretching exercises can reduce muscle spasm and help lengthen the muscle-tendon unit.
- Strengthening exercises –Weak thigh muscles contribute to the strain on your patellar tendon. Exercises that involve lowering your leg very slowly after extending it can be particularly helpful, as can exercises that strengthen all of the leg muscles in combination, such as a leg press.
Other Therapy options:
The following treatments can also be useful for pain relief, however this will provide results in the short term, without actually addressing the problem that is causing the knee injury.
- Patellar tendon strap –A strap that applies pressure to your patellar tendon.
- Iontophoresis –This therapy involves corticosteroid medicine.
All the options of treatment above would be considered conservative methods of treatment. If these do not help your patella tendinitis issue, a Doctor may recommend other procedures such as:
- Corticosteroid injection
- Platelet rich plasma injection
Lifestyle Management Tips!
- Note any recent injuries that may have damaged your knee joint.
- Log your typical daily activity, sports/exercise and intensity/volume, change in activity, equipment used.
- Avoid activity that causes pain as working through pain can further damage your patellar tendon.
- Apply ice after an activity that causes pain.
Ronan Power (B. Ex Phys)
Senior Accredited Exercise Physiologist.
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