There are many causes of knee pain and one of the most common is patellar tendinopathy ‘runners knee’ or ‘jumpers knee’. More men than women are affected and its most common in athletes, runners and people involved in high impact sports where jumping and changing direction occurs frequently. ‘Jumpers knee’ is most frequent in people in their twenties to thirties, but it can affect all ages.
Pain comes on due to overload of the patella tendon or a trauma such as a fall. It’s rare to have pain when resting and the pain is associated with weight bearing and during activity. There may be swelling at the front of the knee, but more often there isn’t.
The Patella Tendon
The patella tendon sits below the knee cap and can be seen here.
How is patella tendinopathy diagnosed?
The podiatrist will examine you and the clinical findings are backed up with imaging. This can include an ultrasound scan or an MRI study. You will also have a biomechanical assessement that will show any movement and strength deficits. These are recorded and worked into your treatment program.
Why Have I got Patella Tendon Pain?
Patella tendon pain can be brought on by previous injury. It can be caused by a deficit in muscle strength, endurance, reduced flexibility or aberrant movement patterns can all play a part in jumpers knee. Faulty training techniques and focusing on only one type of training can lead to overuse of the patella tendon.
Treatment depends on the presentation of the injury
- Activity modification
- Exercises to stretch and strengthen supporting structures
- Shockwave treatment
- Movement modification
- Foot wear
With good treatment the prognosis is good. Not treating a painful patella tendon can lead to tears, further pain and delayed healing. Contact the podiatrist or book a consultation for the right treatment.
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