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Jumper’s Knee: Is Patellar Tendinopathy the Cause of Your Knee Pain?

Jumper’s Knee: Is Patellar Tendinopathy the Cause of Your Knee Pain?

If you or any of your family members have ever experienced any problems with your knees, then you’ll know how frustrating it is. It’s painful and it can stop you from doing the activities you enjoy, as well as even the mundane day-to-day activities.

Patellar Tendinopathy is a common cause of knee pain that is often linked to jumping sports and active individuals. Hence, it is often referred to as Jumper’s Knee. So, what is it and what should you do? The Podiatrist talks knee pain.

What is Patellar Tendinopathy?

Patellar tendinopathy describes damage to and subsequent inflammation of the patellar tendon. This is the tendon that runs across the front of the knee and attaches the patella (kneecap) and the quadriceps to the tibia (shin bone). It works to both help straighten the knee from a bent position, as well as to protect the knee joint by helping keep the patella in place. It plays an essential role in our ability to run, kick, jump, and generally move our legs.

What causes damage to the patellar tendon?

Although the important action of the patellar tendon means that it can withstand large forces, it still remains vulnerable to overuse. Damage occurs when the tendon is repeatedly stressed and overloaded, initially resulting in small tears through the tendon fibres. An example of such overloading is repetitive jumping (and landing) like in volleyball or netball, as well as sports where players start and stop quickly, and often change direction. Damage to and micro-tears in the tendon, without the ability to adequately repair and recover, results in weakening and if not managed appropriately, may turn into a tendinopathy with ongoing issues. Additional causes include
  • Poor training technique
  • Increased impact on hard surfaces
  • Poor foot biomechanics
  • Sudden increases in training intensity without adequate preparation
  • Muscular imbalances (e.g. tight hamstrings or weak quads)

What are the symptoms?

Knee pain is the biggest symptom, particularly if you’ve just been playing quick-paced sports. Pain is located below the patella but may also be present all around it too. Some initial inflammation may also present. The knee may feel stiff and ache, particularly after activity.

Patellar tendinopathy should not be left untreated

If you have knee pain and suspect you may have Patellar Tendinopathy, you’ll want to take care and ensure to get it checked by your Podiatrist. While it may start out as just an uncomfortable niggle, if left untreated and as it continues to weaken, it can quickly progress to a chronic tendinopathy with a very hefty recovery time to get it back to full strength and function.

Proper care and management at the early stages stops the progression in its tracks and much restores your tendon to its healthy, fully functioning state in a much faster time and with much less effort.

Management

Until you’re able to get to your Podiatrist, start by cutting out the activity that first caused the pain and any activity that directly triggers the pain. Attempting to move through the pain can cause further damage to the tendon, which may lead to a tear in the tendon.

Your Podiatrist will conduct a thorough biomechanical examination and develop a personalised management plan to get you recovered and ready to play as quickly and effectively as possible. Our innovative, world-class equipment and technology, paired with our expert Podiatrists, mean you get the best results and the long-term outcome.

Give our friendly team a call on 07 4638 3022, we have clinics available in both Toowoomba and Warwick.

To get an insight into some of our leading technology we use in clinic, check out the elite Zebris Gait Analysis System below:
Our expert team will get you out of pain and back to doing the things you love.