Patellar Tendonitis – What is it, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments!

Patellar Tendonitis – What it is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments  that we should not ignore. Also known as jumper’s knee, Patellar Tendonitis is an inflammation of a certain area of ​​the patellar tendon, just below the kneecap, which causes pain and limitation.

The tendon, the fibrous structure responsible for joining bone and muscle, is, however, the weakest link in case of an overload of effort. As such, constant and regular repetition of certain movements, especially jumping, can lead to the development of an inflammation of the patellar tendon. Hence the name jumper’s knee.

Patellar tendinitis mainly  affects athletes in jumping sports, such as basketball, handball, volleyball and some athletics disciplines. However, it can also affect athletes from other sports, as well as people who do not play any kind of sport.

Patellar tendinitis , usually caused by physical activity, is initially only noticed during exercise or after a more intense workout. However, with its evolution, the pain begins to be felt in normal day-to-day activities, such as sitting in a chair or climbing stairs, among others.

In this article you can learn more about this problem: causes, symptoms, diagnosis and how to treat Patellar Tendinitis . Also check out a home remedy that can help in the treatment of this problem.

Causes of Patellar Tendonitis: Patellar  tendinitis is a more frequent problem in young adult athletes, being associated with repetitive movements of extrinsic contraction (when the muscle is contracted and stretched at the same time) of the quadriceps femoris (knee extensor mechanism), and the reduced flexibility of the hamstring (hamstring) muscle.

As mentioned above, the repeated and regular use of the heel, with the presence of the conditions mentioned here, will lead to the appearance of an inflammation of the patellar tendon in the area below the kneecap.

In addition to jumping athletes, there are also sports that cause stress on the patella tendon, which can also cause inflammation . Activities such as cycling, running, soccer, etc., can also cause this problem.

Finally, there are also causes not related to sports practice, which may also be behind the development of Patellar Tendinitis . People who have misalignment in their lower limbs, such as flat feet, wider hips or valgus knees, are at greater risk of developing this problem.

Symptoms of Patellar Tendonitis:  Pain is the first symptom of Patellar Tendonitis  of the patella, usually between your kneecap and where the tendon attaches to your backbone (tibia).

Pain in your knee can:

  • First, be present only when you start physical activity or right after an intense workout
  • Persecute until it interferes with playing your sport
  • Eventually interferes with daily movements, such as climbing stairs or getting up from a chair

When to See a Doctor: For knee pain, first try self-care measures such as icing the area and temporarily reducing or avoiding activities that trigger your symptoms.

Tell Your Doctor if Your Pain:

  • continues or worsens
  • Interferes with your ability to perform routine daily activities
  • Is associated with swelling or redness over the joint

How to Diagnose Patellar Tendinitis: If Patellar Tendinitis is suspected  , the orthopedic doctor will make a clinical observation of the symptoms and evaluate the patient’s history. To complement the diagnosis, tests such as x-ray, ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging are usually ordered.

The x-ray is the most common, being the ultrasound most used in cases where there is a need for a confirmation exam. Finally, MRI is more suitable for chronic cases or in preparation for surgery. After confirming the problem, the doctor will then define the most appropriate treatment.

Treatments For  Patellar Tendonitis:  For most cases of Patellar Tendonitis , conservative treatment is effective enough to cure the problem. This includes rest and changing the type and intensity of training, cryotherapy, medication and physical therapy. Check below each of the treatment aspects for Patellar Tendinitis .

Cryotherapy: Cryotherapy, that is, application of ice, should be performed 3 to 4 times a day, for about 15 to 20 minutes. Applying cold compresses will help to reduce inflammation and reduce pain. Don’t forget to avoid putting the ice directly on the skin, so it doesn’t burn.

Medications: Another way to help reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms is to take anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers. Diclofenac and Ibuprofen, but also creams such as Reumon or Voltaren, are very useful in these cases, and can be taken orally or applied topically.

Rest for Patellar Tendonitis: Rest and changing training habits are essential to prevent the aggravation of Patellar Tendonitis , and thus, promote tendon recovery. The maintenance of the same exercises will continue to strain the knee and the tendon, and the inflammation may become chronic, with greater therapeutic needs, such as the injection of corticosteroids, or even surgery.

Physiotherapy for Patellar Tendonitis: Physiotherapy is an important aspect of treatment for Patellar Tendonitis , as in addition to helping to relieve inflammation and pain, it will rehabilitate the tendon and surrounding musculature.

Physiotherapy treatment usually includes knee muscle strengthening exercises, stretching exercises and cryotherapy. It may also include performing a technique called iontophoresis and applying a knee brace.

Iontophoresis consists of the application of a corticosteroid medication in the affected area, which is then stimulated with an electrical charge given by a specific device, in order to facilitate the absorption of the active ingredients. The brace applied to the knee will exert a certain pressure on the patella.

Useful links: 

In addition to therapeutic treatment, it is also essential for patients to be instructed to always perform stretching before and after physical activity. Bearing in mind the characteristics of this type of Patellar Tendonitis , the most suitable exercises are those that stretch the flexor muscles on the posterior and anterior sides of the thigh.

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