Jumper's knee or patella tendinopathy is pain in the patellar tendon - the tendon which attaches the patella (knee cap) to the top of the tibia (shin bone). The patellar tendon is an extremely strong tendon which allows the quadriceps muscle group to straighten the leg. Jumpers knee is usually an overuse injury caused by repetitive strain.
Symptoms of jumpers knee consist of pain at the lower front aspect of the patella, and this area may be very tender when pressed. Aching and stiffness are common symptoms after exercise and sometimes pain when contracting the quadriceps muscle in acute cases. The affected tendon may appear swollen when compared to the unaffected side.
The patellar tendon often comes under great stress especially in individuals who regularly put strain on the knee joint for example sports that involve running, frequent changes of direction and jumping movements. With repeated strain, micro tears and collagen degeneration may occur in the tendon.
Rest from training can help as well as an adaptation of training to reduce impact. Ice treatment and anti inflammatory medication may help in the short term with acute inflammation. However, this condition often does not improve with rest alone. Physiotherapy treatment such as deep friction massage, ultrasound therapy and acupuncture can be beneficial together with a rehabilitation programme of strengthening exercises and advice on adapting training programmes. Our physiotherapists will perform a comprehensive assessment of your knee pain and will offer you the most appropriate treatment to get you back to fitness as soon as possible.
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The Independent General Practice