Jumper’s knee, also known as patellar tendinopathy, is unsurprisingly often associated with sports that involve jumping, such as a basketball, but can in fact be caused by any physical activity that overuses your knee joint, such as running. It affects the tendon that connects the thigh muscles at the front of your leg to your shinbone.
In this post, we explore the symptoms and risk factors of patellar tendinopathy, as well as recommended treatments, including shockwave therapy in Twickenham.
Please bear in mind that although the information and tips in this blog are helpful when recovering from patellar tendinopathy, for specific advice and guidance, please contact a physiotherapist for a professional assessment.
Understanding patellar tendinopathy
Patellar tendinopathy results from overuse of the patellar tendon. Activities such as running, hill walking or jumping can cause excessive stress to be placed on your patellar tendon. This can cause uncomfortable or painful symptoms in the tendon just below your kneecap, which can limit your activity. It usually takes 3–6 months for symptoms of patellar tendinopathy to clear after starting treatment.
Causes and risk factors
Although we don’t yet fully understand the cause of patellar tendinopathy, we do know that it develops when the tendon is unable to adapt to the strain placed on it. This can be affected by a few factors including age, gender and biomechanics.
For example, men over the age of 30 are more at risk of developing this condition. Weight also impacts your risk — the more excess weight you carry, the more likely you are to develop patellar tendinopathy. Running at a higher intensity or frequency also increases your risk.
If you’re suffering from patellar tendinopathy, you can manage uncomfortable symptoms by moderating your exercise and activity levels, as well as starting treatment.
Common treatments include:
Shockwave therapy is the gold standard for treating tendon injuries and reducing pain. This non-surgical treatment, using a handheld device that releases high energy sound waves, encourages tissue regeneration. Combined with appropriate rehabilitation exercises, shockwave therapy helps you get back on your feet as quickly as possible. Any pain you experience when beginning the exercises should subside as you continue on your rehabilitation journey.
We understand that you most likely want to stay active and maintain your fitness even while recovering from patellar tendinopathy. Relative rest allows you to engage in other forms of exercise so that you can stay active without unnecessarily aggravating your symptoms. In practice, this means you should reduce activities such as running and jumping but you can engage in other lower impact activities, such as swimming, aqua jogging and cycling.
There are no quick fixes for patellar tendinopathy, however, physiotherapy can help you get back on your feet as soon as possible. Working with one of our physiotherapists, you’ll slowly improve strength and flexibility in your lower limbs. We’ll help you improve your tendon’s ability to cope with strain so that you can gradually reduce any pain and swelling. Exercises may include mini-squats, hamstring stretches, stepping up and down, and more depending on particular needs.
Get in touch
If you’re interested in learning more about how shockwave therapy can be useful when treating symptoms of patellar tendinopathy, please feel free to give us a call on 020 8898 1231. Our expert staff is here to answer any of your questions and provide additional information.