Patellar Tendonitis or Jumper’s Knee

Patellar tendonitis is the medical term for jumper’s knee. It is manifested with inflammation of the patellar tendon. This tendon connects the kneecap to the shin bone. When the tendon is weakened, you may experience patellar tendonitis. If left untreated, this condition can lead to tears in the tendon.

The causes of jumper’s knee is the over-using of the knee joint such as frequent running, jumping, and pushing off the knees and landing on hard ground. Typically, jumper’s knee is a sport’s related injury connected with strains on the tendon from the leg muscle contracting and the energy of hitting the ground. With frequent stress, the tendon can become inflamed.

How do you know if you have patellar tendonitis or jumper’s knee?  Although each person can experience symptoms in different ways, the basic signs include:

  • Pain when jumping, walking or jogging
  • Tenderness and pain with your patellar tendon
  • Tenderness in the lower area of the knee cap
  • Swelling
  • Pain when straightening or bending your leg

Physical Therapy Treatment for Patellar Tendonitis

Our experienced physical therapists at AllCare PT can accurately diagnose patellar tendonitis with an examination and talking with your about your symptoms.  We offer physical therapy for knee conditions including jumper’s knee and other injuries from sports. We understand how pain can compromise an enjoyable and healthy life, and we aim to help you become pain free.

Patellar tendonitis is a mild condition that doesn’t involve major tendon or ligament tears. We have found that physical therapy for patellar tendonitis is very effective in a rehab program. We utilize advanced techniques paired with active strength training exercises. Our aim is to reduce the inflammation and allow the tendon to heal properly. Building other muscle groups can help protect the tendon by taking strain off the knee. We work with you and teach you the proper movements and exercises to build these muscles.

Physical Therapy Exercises for Patellar Tendonitis

There are several patellar tendonitis exercises that may help this condition due to the many muscles that are involved with the knee joint having an effect on knee function. We focus on movements that lengthen and shorten the muscles. A few of the exercises that can help strengthen knee muscles depending on the weight and condition of each patient include:

  1. Step up and step down. This involves stepping onto a stair or short chair and back down again. Do this is three sets of ten repetitions.
  2.  Straight Leg Lifts. Lying on your back with one leg bend and the other straight, lift the straight up and then back down again in three sets of ten repetitions.
  3. Squats. Gently step off of a raised platform or short stair and squat upon landing.
  4. Hip Lifts. Lying on your back with both legs bent, raise your hips until parallel with your thighs. Do this in three sets of ten repetitions.
  5. Clam Shells. Lying on your side with your legs and feet tucked together, open your legs at your knee while keeping your feet together and your hip on the surface. Do this in three sets of ten repetitions.

While patellar tendonitis can be painful and discomforting, it is treatable through physical therapy, rest and exercises to allow your tendon to heal and your muscles to get stronger. The key is getting treatment early before the injury worsens. You can return to your daily activities as early as four weeks.

Experience the AllCare physical therapy difference with your patellar tendonitis injury. Call today and schedule an appointment at (718) 673-2014.