Protection Rest Ice Compression And Elevation
Rest, ice, compression, and elevation may help treat mild knee pain that results from a soft tissue injury, such as a sprain.
Protection refers to protecting the knee from further injury, for example, by taking a break from the activity that caused it.
Rest can reduce the risk of further injury and give tissues time to heal. However, stopping all movement is not advisable, as this can lead to stiffness and, in time, muscle weakness.
Ice can help reduce swelling and inflammation. It should be wrapped in a cloth and applied for 20 minutes several times on the first day of injury. Never put ice directly the skin, as this can lead to further damage.
Compression with a knee support, for example, can increase comfort levels. The support or bandage should be firm but not tight.
Elevation, or keeping the leg raised, will encourage circulation and reduce swelling. Ideally, the knee should be above the level of the heart.
Hyaluronic Acid Or Hyaluronate Injections
Also called viscosupplements, this treatment tries to restore synovial fluid, which is a slippery substance that helps lubricate joints.
A major component of synovial fluid is called hyaluronate. For more than 20 years, doctors have tried to restore mobility and curb pain by injecting hyaluronate directly into the knee joint.
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What Is Patella Tendinopathy
Patella tendinopathy is an overuse injury which causes pain and tenderness in the tendon at the front of the knee. The tendon connects the quadriceps muscles to the bone at the top of your shin . It is aggravated by any activities that require a large contraction of the quadriceps muscle such as squatting, lunging and particularly impact activities such as hopping, jumping and running. Often the pain is better during activity and worse afterwards.
Diagnostic ultrasound is the gold standard imaging modality to diagnose a patella tendinopathy and to visualise if there is a tear. At Complete this is carried out at no extra cost during your first appointment.
Complete rest is not normally advised for patella tendinopathy. Stretches have also been shown to be of limited value in getting you back to sport. Physiotherapy, involving heavy slow resistance training and activity modification, has been shown to be the most successful treatment for patella tendinopathy. Shockwave therapy alongside physiotherapy is also an effective treatment regime. If you are still struggling with pain having completed your physiotherapy and shockwave programmes, a high volume saline injection or a platelet rich plasma injection are both potential options.
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Taping Or Bracing Patellar Tendonitis
Taping or use of a patellar tendon strap brace has often provided significant relief to athletes, although the success is quite variable. The precise mechanism of action is unknown, but it is believed that taping or bracing alters the angle and direction of stress at the site of injury, effectively unloading this region and decreasing the pain by distributing forces away from the tendon. A Chopat strap has been specifically used to unload the patellar tendon for both patellar tendonitis and Osgood-Schlatters Disease.
Diagnosis Of Quadriceps Tendonitis
Generally, common symptoms of quadriceps tendonitis include:
Your doctor will perform a clinical examination to rule out other causes of pain at the front of the knee such as kneecap arthritis, fat pad impingement, torn meniscus, pes bursitis, house maids knee, and patellar tendonitis.
Often, we use imaging to make a diagnosis and rule out other causes. Usually, both ultrasound and MRI scans can see changes of swelling and collagen breakdown of the tendon. Generally, ultrasound has advantages over MRI scans including the ability to see calcification more clearly and a lower cost.
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What Happens When You Stop Exercising With A Tendon Injury
It frequently starts out with mild pain and stiffness that improves with exercise or movement, but the pain typically comes back after stopping. Gradually, the discomfort can worsen to the point where its difficult to exercise the area at all. In severe cases, you can experience swelling, popping and even weakness in the affected tendon.
What Causes Knee Tendonitis
Jumpers knee is an overuse injury and the result of repetitive micro-trauma to patellar tendon. Usually such micro-trauma is caused by activities that include a lot of jumping, running and cutting.
Sports such as basketball, volleyball and tennis have a high incidence rate of this injury, but it is not limited to these groups.
A common theme among people who suffer from knee tendonitis is playing through pain or regular overexertion on the court. Heres what happens if it is left untreated:
Initially, tendonitis will just be a minor pain in the tendon below the kneecap, but with repeated overuse tissue damage cellular degradation will set in.
If the overuse continues the body will be unable to repair the damaged tissue and tendonitis turns into tendinosis: a painful chronic condition that will take months, sometimes years to heal.
Ignore tendonitis and your pain will get worse and your condition will get more chronic. Act early and you could be back to sports in a few weeks.
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Increase Risk Of Patellar Tendonitis
The cause of patellar tendonitis in athletes is often multifactorial. However, some factors that may increase the risk of this injury include:
Overuse, particularly with recurrent jumping activities. Inadequate conditioning or stretching an abnormal length-tension relationship and compliance of the thigh and calf muscles can increase strain on the patellar tendon and increase the risk of injury. Obesity small increases in weight place dramatically increased stress on the kneecap and extensor mechanism. In fact, a gain of one pound can manifest as 8 to 10 more pounds of force on the knee with certain activities. Patella alta a higher than normal kneecap position may increase the strain and risk of injury to the patellar tendon.
Getting A Second Opinion
A second opinion should be considered when deciding on a high-risk procedure like surgery or you want another opinion on your treatment options. It will also provide you with peace of mind. Multiple studies make a case for getting additional medical opinions.
In 2017, a Mayo Clinic study showed that 21% of patients who sought a second opinion left with a completely new diagnosis, and 66% were deemed partly correct, but refined or redefined by the second doctor.
You can ask your primary care doctor for another doctor to consider for a second opinion or ask your family and friends for suggestions. Another option is to use a Telemedicine Second Opinion service from a local health center or a Virtual Care Service.
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How Is Jumper’s Knee Treated
The best treatment for jumper’s knee is to stop any activity thats causing the problem until the injury is healed. Other treatment may include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen
- Ice packs to your knee to help reduce swelling
- Stretching and strengthening exercises
Trying Conventional Treatment Options
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How Can I Prevent Patellar Tendonitis
To reduce your risk of a sports injury, take these steps before you start any physical activity:
- Ensure a proper fit: Make sure all athletic gear fit your body type.
- Stretch it out: Give yourself at least five minutes before an activity to stretch major muscle groups. Regular stretching makes muscles and tendons more elastic. More elastic tissue is less likely to tear.
- Dont rush the warmup: Dont push your body to the max right away. A solid warmup gives your muscles time to wake up, which makes an injury less likely.
Other Treatments For Jumpers Knee
Once jumpers knee has become chronic, treatment with the strengthening exercises we covered above usually takes months rather than weeks to produce results.
Unfortunately, some people confuse the slow progress these exercises provide with being stuck and since nobody wants to be in pain, the promises some of the other treatment option make seem too enticing to ignore.
However, there is no convincing evidence in academic research that these adjunct treatments provide long-term benefits for tendonitis34. Still, lets look at them in more detail.
You can use ice to manage your pain without painkillers or anti-inflammatories. However, icing didnt show any treatment benefits for patellar tendonitis35 and it temporarily reduced flexibility of the tendon it was used on36.
Patellar Tendon Straps
Patellar tendon straps can reduce pain for a short period of time for some people with patellar tendonitis39. These straps have also been shown to improve jumping mechanics40 as well as body awareness41. They may also contribute to better patellar tracking42.
Please note that these straps did not improve jumping performance43 or long term treatment outcomes of patellar tendonitis.
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How Is Patellar Tendonitis Treated
Patellar tendonitis treatments mostly focus on managing your symptoms and strengthening the soft tissues in your knee. At first, your provider may ask you to try conservative therapies, such as rest. In minor cases, these measures may be enough to relieve your pain.
If the condition doesnt go away, your provider may recommend you:
- Take it easy: Avoid the activities or movements that trigger your symptoms. Pushing through pain may cause more damage to tendon tissues.
- Rest: Stay off your feet as much as you can. Rest gives your body time to heal.
- Apply ice: If you have swelling around your knee, placing an ice pack on the area for 15 minutes at a time, a few times a day, may reduce inflammation.
- Take pain relievers: Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines as needed may be enough to relieve minor aches or knee pains.
- Support your knee: Your provider may recommend you wear a support device over the knee, such as a knee brace. Support devices may relieve the pain.
- Try physical therapy: A trained professional will guide you in doing special exercises and stretches. These motions slowly increase the strength and flexibility of injured tendon tissues. Physical therapy may also relieve some of your discomfort.
- Have surgery: Surgery to treat patellar tendonitis is rare. However, if imaging tests show a tendon tear, your provider may recommend surgery to repair the damaged tissues.
Physical Therapy Treatment For Knee Pain
At Global Health Physiotherapy Clinic we have successfully treated hundreds of patients presenting with knee pain. The knee is composed of 4 articulating bones , ligaments, tendons, bursa , and meniscus . When something goes wrong with the function of any components in your knee joint, the result can be quite painful. Physical therapy treatment is highly effective in reversing pain, inflammation and speeding the recovery of your knee from a number of potential ailments.
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What Are Potential Complications
If you dont have medical treatment, patellar tendonitis can worsen. You may damage your tendon more severely, limiting your everyday functioning.
Resting your legs and stopping activity can be emotionally difficult for athletes, in particular. They may not want to stop playing, even though its painful. For professional athletes, patellar tendonitis can be a career-ender if left untreated.
What Is Tendonitis Of The Knee
Tendonitis is a painful condition caused by inflammation, or irritation, of a tendon. A tendon is a thick, band-like cord that attaches a muscle to a bone. Tendonitis of the knee is common, especially in athletes. The patellar tendon is the most common tendon in the knee that suffers from tendonitis. It connects the kneecap to the shinbone and helps you straighten your leg by way of the quadriceps muscle. Pain from patellar tendonitis is likely to be felt along the tendon, just below the patella in the front of the knee.
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Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
Another technique used in myofascial release therapy is instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilizationalso known as the Graston Technique. It is a fairly new treatment involving the use of metal or plastic tools to massage muscles, fascia, and tendons. The idea is the same with all myofascial release therapy, which is to improve soft tissue mobility in your body through massage.
A physical therapist using IASTM will rub an ergonomically shaped metal tool over the skin of an affected or sore area, looking for tight fascia. The tool is then “scraped” along the skin until the fascia feels loosened.
Histology Of The Patellar Tendon
The patellar tendon extends distally from the infrapatellar pole to the tibial tubercle. Some anatomists argue that as the patellar tendon appears to connect the patella and tibia, it should be termed the patellar ligament. However, embryologically there is a single tendon attaching the quadriceps to the tibia in which a mesenchymal condensation develops and becomes the patella, a sesamoid bone. The formation of the patella appears to separate the tendon into two regions, the quadriceps and patellar tendons although they are, in fact, a continuous, anatomic tendon entity. In an adult, the patellar tendon is 25-40mm wide, 4-6cm long, and 5-7mm thick., At the site of attachment of the patellar tendon to bone , there is a fibrocartilaginous enthesis with four tissue zones – dense fibrous connective tissue, uncalcified fibrocartilage, calcified cartilage, and bone. The collagen fibers in the tendon are arranged in a parallel fashion and the tendon appears white. The patellar tendon does not have a well-developed paratenon but the posterior surface of the tendon is intimate with the fat pad, a structure that is highly innervated and vascularized. Duri et al stated, We believe that the intensity of pain in some patients with patellar tendonitis is related to the involvement of the fat pad.,p105
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How To Treat Patellar Tendonitis
Patellar tendonitis can worsen without proper treatment. It can eventually result in degeneration of the tendon. This condition is common in many athletes and affects more than 20 percent of all jumping athletes. If you feel any pain in the knee area, consult with your doctor. Waiting will just increase the severity of the injury.
Your doctor may prescribe over-the-counter pain relievers, a patellar tendon strap, or cortisone injections. In rare cases, surgery may be recommended. You will be required to stay off the knee as much as possible while it heals, significantly limiting your activity.
Below are a few actions you can take at home to help reduce your risk of developing a knee injury like jumpers knee:
· Warming up and cooling down before and after exercise.
· Wearing appropriate shoes based on the activity.
· Increasing intensity of workouts gradually.
· Stretching appropriate muscles.
· Icing when necessary.
Tip #: Manage Patellar Tendon Pain Using Isometrics
If youre dealing with patellar tendon pain, use this simple protocol to control your pain on days when youre flared up:
Start with both heels elevated on a plate or ramp. Push your knees forward into a half squat hold for 45-60 seconds. Repeat five times. Then go about your day. You can perform one set of these five times per day. Expect your pain to rise 2-3 points during these exercises and settle back down afterward.
Single Leg Decline Squat Hold. If regular squats dont feel challenging enough, you can do these exercises standing on one leg. Sink into a single leg half squat on a decline for 45-60 seconds. Repeat 5 times. Perform them five times per day. Expect your pain to rise 2-3 points during these exercises and settle back down afterward.
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Muscle Strengthening For Healthy Knees
Weak muscles surrounding the knee joint can perpetuate and overstress the knee. Strength training the muscles in the leg, especially the quadriceps and hamstrings is crucial in maintaining healthy knees where scar tissue is present.
Make sure to warm your leg muscles up before performing any strength trainingyou can do some jumping jacks, or go for a light jog. Once you begin to sweat or breath more heavily, you’re plenty warm. After you’ve warmed your muscles up, proceed with a light stretch.
There are many different types of exercises that help build your leg muscles for optimal knee support. Always start with light weights, and increase weight gradually over time. A basic muscle strengthening program might include the following exercises:
- Leg press
- Calf raises
- Hip abductions
It is best to perform these exercises two to three times per week. You can do them in sets of three with ten to fifteen repetitions each set. Make sure to get plenty of rest in between workout sessions for optimal muscle recovery.