Patellar Tendonitis is an inflammation of the Patellar tendon. Patella is the medical term for the kneecap, and the patellar tendon is a tendon of the quadriceps muscle, which connects the knee cap to the shin bone and helps in knee extension. Patellar tendonitis is also known as “Jumper’s knee” as it is common in those who play basketball and volleyball. Patellar Tendonitis is a painful and debilitating condition.
It is an overuse injury. Repetitive stress results from either sports or exercise. Frequent jumping on a hard surface puts pressure on the patellar tendon, which weakens it, and if complicated, can lead to rupture of the patellar tendon. Tight hamstring, tight quadriceps, and weak glute are also predisposing factors for patellar tendonitis as it increases strain on the patellar tendon.
Patellar tendonitis presents itself as pain, tenderness, and swelling around the patellar tendon or base of your knee cap. The movement of the knee becomes difficult.
The treatment of patellar tendonitis has two objectives: to reduce the inflammation and to allow the tendon to heal. The focus is on rest, ice packs, the elevation of the leg, NSAIDs, stretching, and strengthening of the knee muscles. The patellar tendon strap also helps in taking pressure off the tendon and helps in healing.
Following Exercises help with Patellar Tendonitis pain-
- Hamstring stretch-Sit up tall with both legs extended straight in front of you. Your feet should be neutral — not pointed or flexed. Place your palms on the floor and slide your hands toward your ankles. Hold for ankles for 30 seconds. Reach from your hips. Do not round your back and lock your knees. Repeat five times.
- Quadriceps Stretch– Lie down on your stomach. Wrap a towel or belt around the bottom of the foot and hold the ends in your hands. Pull-on the towel so that it brings your foot closer to your buttocks until a stretch is felt in the front of the thigh. Hold for 30 seconds. Then repeat on the other leg. Stretch five times on each side.
- Straight Leg Raises– Lie on your back with your legs straight. Now bend the unaffected side knee and place the foot flat on the floor. Gently lift your affected side leg about 8 inches off the floor. Keep your leg straight. Hold for 5-10 seconds, then slowly lower your leg back down. Do two sets of ten.
- Prone Hip Extensions-Lie on your stomach, fold your arms under your head and rest your head on your arms. Tighten the buttocks, and lift the leg off the floor keeping your leg straight. Hold for five seconds, then lower your leg. Repeat ten times.
- Glute Bridges-Start with supine lying with knees flexed together and pointing towards the ceiling, arms by your side with palms facing down. Inhale and push through your heels, lift your lower back and hips, so that the whole body from knees to shoulder is in a slanting line. Your body must be resting on your upper back and shoulders. Hold for 10-15 seconds, repeat ten times.
- Clams Exercises– Lie on your unaffected side with your hips and knees bent and feet together. Lift the top leg so that the knee points towards the ceiling without rotating your pelvis. Ensure that your heels keep touching each other during the movement. Hold for five seconds and then return slowly. Do two sets of ten.
- Short-Arc Lift– Sit on the floor with legs extended in front of you. Bend the knee over a rolled-up towel, now lift the foot so that the knee fully straightens. Hold the knee locked in extension for five seconds, then slowly return to the starting position. Do two sets of ten.
- Single-Leg Decline Eccentric Squat– Stand on a single leg at an angled platform or with a half foam roller to raise the heels. This position reduces the calf involvement in the movement and increases the load on the quadriceps muscles. Now squat at 45 degrees, hold for 5-10 seconds and return to the starting position. Do two sets of ten.
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