Jumper’s knee or patellar tendonitis involves pain in the tendon which connects to the kneecap to the upper part of the shin bone. This is usually an overuse injury that is instigated by constant strain on the knee
It is important to note that jumper’s knee is considered as a tricky condition to manage and entails a long period of rest and thorough treatment and rehabilitation program. In severe or persistent cases, surgery might be required. You can learn to recognize and manage joint injuries such as Jumper’s Knee by registering for first aid training today.
The symptoms of jumper’s knee incudes pain in the bottom front part of the kneecap over the inferior pole of the patella. The base of the patella is usually tender when pressed in. The individual is likely to suffer from aching and stiffness after engaging in exercise and there is pain when contracting the quadriceps muscles in acute stages.
The affected tendon will appear bigger than the unaffected side. Activities that involve jumping are likely to cause pain. Jumper’s knee is categorized into four grades of injury:
- Grade 1 – pain occurs only after training
- Grade 2 – pain occurs before and after training but eases once the individual warms up
- Grade 3 – pain during training which disrupts with performance
- Grade 4 – pain during daily activities
Remember that the injury might seem nagging at first where some continue to train and compete. On the other hand, this should not be neglected. If left to progress into a chronic case, it will be hard to manage and would surely require surgery.
The treatment for jumper’s knee depends on the extent or grade of the injury. A severe injury would require a longer rest period and might require surgery. The treatment for mild to moderate cases includes rest from training and minimizing activities that involve impact and jumping.
Apply an ice pack on a regular basis especially during the acute stage which is usually the first 24-48 hours and after engaging in any form of exercise. In case the tendon is sore, an ice pack can be applied for 10 minutes every hour and lower the frequency as the symptoms improves.
Using a knee support can also help reduce the pain and minimize the strain on the tendon. It is also important to stretch the quadriceps muscles on a regular basis and consult a sports injury professional who can provide the suitable treatment and rehabilitation program involving eccentric exercises.
When to consult a doctor
The doctor will prescribe anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen. Remember that ibuprofen should not be taken by those who have asthma. These medications can help during the acute phase but might disrupt with healing in the later stages.
In most cases, the doctor might utilize laser treatment or ultrasound to minimize the pain and inflammation as well as aid in the healing process. In addition, cross friction massage to the tendon can also help, especially in chronic cases.