Exercise Tips to Prevent Recurring Patellar Tendinitis
Anyone who has knee pain knows that it can put a dent in the progression of a regular exercise program, and if left unchecked, may result in more severe injury. One knee injury that seems to affect exercisers who do a lot of running or jumping is patellar tendinitis, characterized by a sharp pain in the knee.
The patellar tendon links the bottom of the kneecap (patella) to the top of the large shin bone (tibia). Patellar tendinitis (also known as Jumper’s Knee) is an overuse injury that usually occurs when too much strain is put on the patellar tendon, resulting in “micro-tears” in the patellar tendon, which leads to inflammation and pain. The solid muscles on the front of the leg, the quadriceps muscles, straighten the knee by picking at the patellar tendon via the patella.
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Addressing Knee Pain
Initially, the pain may only occur during exercise, but it will begin to affect everyday activities, such as going up and downstairs over time. It is essential to consult an orthopedic doctor if patellar tendinitis is suspected, as knee injuries typically will only worsen without proper treatment. The doctor will perform some diagnostic tests. Depending on the hardness of the condition, he or she may recommend over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines, such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen. Cold therapy is also commonly used to treat patellar tendonitis, usually by applying ice to the area for 20 minutes at a time.
Although it is essential to rest the knee, it is equally important to build strength to minimize the inflammation’s occurrence and severity. Since the quadriceps muscles on the front of the thigh are utilized for straightening the knee by pulling at the patellar tendon, it is essential to build strength in these muscles to prevent knee injuries.
Strength Building for Strong Knees
The doctor may recommend working out with a physical therapist who can develop a regiment of low impact exercises such as cycling and a series of strength and stretching exercises. It is essential to pay close attention to form when performing these strength exercises, including a series of weighted leg lifts, leg presses, and squats. The doctor may also recommend using a supportive device, particularly while exercising, to compress the patellar tendon and ensure the knee is properly tracking. Depending on how well one sticks to the program and how quickly healing occurs, abe back to a regular fitness routine can usually be resumed in the next couple of months.
Just retain, it is risky to consult and follow the advice of a doctor, physical therapist, and, most importantly, to take the proper time to recover is key to preventing fractures.