Patellar Tendinitis, or Jumper's Knee

If you enjoy running and have  adopted the “Runner’s Lifestyle” where you constantly get out to push yourself a little further  each week, then you’re going to experience some aches and pains  every now and then.  It’s a given, since you’re putting a lot of force on several “Key” joints and muscle groups as you run. When you have consistent aches and pains, especially in your  lower and upper legs that seem to center around your  knees you could be experiencing one of two painful  issues that will need care and cause you to rest those knees for a bit. 

Two such common injuries are Jumper’s knee and Runner’s knee. Both are non-medical terms used to describe knee pain. Indeed though, both are quite similar and are often used interchangeably, but both injuries can be painful in their own way!

Patellar Tendinitis, or Jumper’s Knee, is the pain associated with tendon attached to the knee cap, also called patellar tendon, overuse or a sudden stress on the patellar tendon can cause inflammation or tears in the tendon tissue. 

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome or Runner’s Knee; is the pain associated with the knee cap (Patella). Here are some detailed differences between Jumper’s Knee and Runner’s Knee.

Parameters

Jumper’s KneeJumpers Knee

Runner’s Knee

Symptoms

  • Sharp and throbbing pain during athletic motion
  • Mild swelling
  • Bruising or redness
  • Discomfort during daily activities  such as kicking, climbing stairs, or bending down
  • A dull and achy pain in the front, behind, or around the kneecap.
  • Knee crepitus(grinding or crunching sensation within the knee)
  • Pain worsens when moving (pain, excess friction, or popping noises when moving)
  • “Water on the knee”-Swelling of the front of the knee may occur, signaling inflammation
  • Increased stiffness and exacerbated pain

Causes

  • Overuse of knees
  • High impact training, sports or exercising that involve direction changing and jumping movements.
  • Repeated strain from high intensity activities causes micro-tears and collagen degeneration in the patellar tendon.
  • Overuse of knees- Excessive Running
  • High impact training, running, biking and exercises that cause bending in the knee.
  • Repeated strain from running (and other activities) due to poor muscle strength causing inflammation and stress.

Treatment

  • Physical therapy exercises to strengthen the patellar tendon
  • Bracing or taping to support the tendon under the kneecap during exercise
  • Injections to reduce inflammation and speed up recovery
  • Reduce or suspend athletic activity that involves the patellar tendon until treatment is finished and condition is recovered.
  • Physical therapy are recommended to strengthen quad muscles. But, if the pain is severe injections are given to reduce inflammation and help combat pain.
  • Use orthotics with arch support
  • Reduce or suspend stressful athletic activities such as running, squatting, lunging, etc.
  • Bracing or taping to keep the kneecap in place during exercise
  • Apply ice compression on swelling and pain.
  • Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time and keep the muscles warmed up and moving.

Remember, injuries do happen! But don’t let the threat of problems become an excuse for unlacing those running shoes and taking to your couch. Instead, be aware of the possibilities of these injuries and take the necessary steps that will help reduce your risk of being sidelined for a while. 

Trainers, Doctors, Pa’s can all agree that caring for these types of injuries can be helped by using the PRICE Method, (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation).   Using a recommended medical treatment like the Physicool Cooling Bandage  can provide the cold penetrating therapy you would hope to get by applying a regular ice pack to the knee, but  without the wet, dripping mess of melting ice. During the recovery process, you’ll want to work on reducing the inflammation through cooling. Applying a Physicool Bandage  for thirty minutes to one or two hours per day can be of great help. Working through the science of evaporation, the cooling benefit of Physicool will reduce pain and swelling, whilst the compression will limit inflammation. These two benefits working together will help to speed up your recovery and get you back to what you love faster. Post-run and evenings are best time to apply these bandages, due to the weight that your knee has endured throughout the day but a lunchtime treatment will definitely help. Once you have recovered, you may find that switching to running shoes with more cushioning will help reduce your impact and protect the knees, preventing a repeat injury in the future.

Though you can manage many injuries yourself, do consult an Orthopedician if the pain is persistent for a longer time.

 

 


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