Over the past few weeks, I have been listening to my athletes and helping to avoid any pain during workouts but what I want to discuss today is, what can we do to help avoid, limit, or erase this pain for good? The most common problem area is the knees, as I told you guys last week during the squat post. When I ask where the pain is, almost every time..I know where you are going to point. The front of the knee, right on the knee cap. This area is commonly known as the patellar tendon. When inflamed and angry, doctor’s will describe this as patellar tendonitis.
But first, let’s understand what this tendon actually does. The patellar tendon is an essential tendon in the leg that enables the muscles to extend the knee, allowing an individual to kick a ball, jump, squat, or run. Patellar tendonitis is a condition that affects the tendon that connects the shinbone to the kneecap, or patella.
Patellar tendonitis causes include overuse. It can occur when you place repeated stress on your patellar tendon. The stress results in tiny tears in the tendon, and as the tears in the tendon increase, they cause pain from inflammation and a weakening. Some of the patellar tendonitis causes include:
Intense, frequent, and repeated physical activity – Repetitive jumping or sudden movements are often some of the most common patellar tendonitis causes among individuals and commonly occur during sports such as basketball, volleyball, and soccer.
Tight muscles – Tight muscles in the hamstrings and quads will often place more strain on your patellar tendon.
Muscle imbalances – If some of the muscles in your leg get a better workout than others, the stronger muscles might pull more on your patellar tendon, causing pain and ultimately, patellar tendonitis.
All of the above can occur here in the gym so please be sure to roll and stretch your leg muscles daily to avoid this pain in the future!
Now, let’s talk about some of the symptoms you may be experiencing prior to the diagnosis….
Patellar tendonitis symptoms begin with pain located in the section between your kneecap (patella) and the area where the tendon attaches to your shinbone (tibia). Some common patellar tendonitis symptoms include:
Pain that is only present during physical activity.
Difficulty participating in sports or other similar activities.
The inability to climb stairs or stand up from a sitting position.
Swelling or redness around the joints.
If you have any of these symptoms it is not required to see a doctor as there are some treatments that can be done on your own but of course, if the pain persists, a doctor’s advice is always advised. Below are a few treatment options you can explore on your own.
When you’re suffering from the pain of patellar tendonitis, what you really want is immediate relief(Insert frustrated emoji here) . Patellar tendonitis treatments that provide immediate relief include supporting/bracing and compression.
Also, patellar tendonitis treatment that provides long term healing will be important to restoring you to your full potential. Stretching exercises will help reduce muscle aggravation and help lengthen the muscles and tendons. Weak thigh muscles contribute to the strain on your patellar tendon, making strengthening these muscles important.
Patellar tendonitis treatment solutions include:
Knee Strap – The Knee Strap is something you can wear during your workout or sports activities. It improves tracking and reduces displacement of the muscles, tendons, and kneecap.
Patellar Stabilizers – Improves patellar tracking resulting in less knee degeneration, inflammation, and pain. The Patellar Stabilizer allows for full mobility of the knee joint while improving lateral and medial support for weak knees.
Knee Compression Sleeves – Knee Compression Sleeve offers long-term healing and support by providing stability, comfort, and warmth. It provides immediate relief for patellar tendonitis, in addition to long term healing.
Stretching & Strengthening
As a person who has suffered from patellar tendonitis, stretching was the cure. Every single muscle in my legs were tight which was pulling on this tendon and aggravating it. Watch this quick video for ideas on stretching, rolling, and working out the tightness in different muscle groups. Patellar Tendonitis Stretches