Are you suffering from Patella Tendonitis?
The Patella Tendon is formed by the Quadriceps Muscles at the front of the thigh, crosses over the Patella (Knee Cap) and attached to the Tibia (shin bone). The Patella Tendon transmits force from the Quadriceps Muscles which straighten the knee.
In adolescents, what appears to be Patellar Tendon pain can be Osgood Schlatters Diesease. These are two different pathologies and must be treated differently.
Patellar Tendinopathy is a degenerative process (What is Tendinopathy?). It happens gradually over time. It is common in field sports and runners. Typically symptoms include pain around the Patella (Knee Cap), local swelling to the front of the knee, pain on moving or at rest.
Avoiding aggravating factors is important to help the tendon to heal. Tendinopathies heal best when they are loaded, but it must be the correct type and amount of load. Too much and the tendon will become painful, too little and the tendon will not respond.
A thorough History and Physical Examination by your Chartered Physiotherapist will determine the likelihood of a Patellar Tendinopathy. If the examination shows an obvious Tendinopathy then a series of exercises and advice will be prescribed. These exercises will be progressive in nature to help the healing process. Shockwave Therapy should be considered in the case of a Patellar Tendinopathy.
Following your Initial Consultation, a strict set of exercises as per our Patellar Tendinopathy Protocol will help in a full return to sports. The protocol consists of progressive loading for the tendon to aid healing.
If the Tendon fails to respond to a 12 week loading protocol then other options must be considered such as Injection Therapy.
MyPhysio’s thoughts on Patella Tendonitis
As with all injuries, our Chartered Physiotherapists consider strength and mobility throughout the body not just where the pain is. In the case of Patellar Tendinopathy , perhaps a stiff ankle or poor pelvic control will be contributing. All these issues will be addressed at your Initial Consultation.
Controlling load is key. Load meaning; How much walking/exercise/standing you are doing. If you have a very active job where you are on your feet all day then this must be taken into consideration when designing your rehab programme. It may sound pedantic but controlling as many variables as possible will ensure you have the best chance to recover.
If you have any queries regarding Patella Tendonitis (Tendinopathy) please ‘Ask the Expert’.