Patella tendinopathy (also known as jumper’s knee) is an overuse injury affecting the knee, whereby your patella tendon becomes overloaded.
The patella is also known as your ‘kneecap’ and the tendon is located just below it. It attaches from the patella and onto your tibia (shin bone). The cells that make up a tendon, get fatigued with repetitive activities or a sudden increase in activity. These activities predominantly include running and jumping. The tendon develops micro damage and thickening and can become a very painful tendinopathy!
Who does it affect?
The greatest level of stress through the patella tendon is during jumping and landing activities. Patella tendinopathy therefore affects people involved in sports such as basketball, soccer, football, tennis and running. Other activities such as dancing, gym and skiing are also common causes.
Symptoms of Patella Tendinopathy
Common symptoms of patella tendinopathy include
- Pain over the tendon, just below the knee cap
- Worsening pain with jumping, landing or kicking
- History of a gradual onset of pain (although some can be caused by trauma)
- Sudden increase in training frequency/intensity
- Change of training surfaces ie grass to concrete
- Poor flexibility of hamstrings and quads
There has been a lot of evidence based practice suggesting hands off treatment and getting back into (correct) exercise.
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Come and see one of us at Port Melbourne Physio to discuss your knee pain and you could get back into your sport in no time!