PATELLAR TENDONITIS GUIDE
Physiobot. Joint pain questions, meet answers.
by Matthew Henderson, MPT
Masters of Physical Therapy
First you need to understand our main objective: Reducing strain on the patellar tendon. This will allow the inflammation to settle down and healing to begin.
With that in mind, take it easy with activities that exacerbate your pain (running, jumping etc.) Even just a few days of rest can promote joint recovery.
ICE OR HEAT
With suspected tendonitis you want to go with icing over hot packs. This will help soothe the inflammation and stiffness. You can learn more about correct icing techniques on our Icing Instructional Guide.
NOTE: If you have been experiencing this pain for longer than 3 months, you may have progressed to dealing with tendonosis vs tendonitis and ice may likely no longer be beneficial. Consult with a joint specialist to determine if this is the case.
Begin a targeted patellar tendonitis exercise program. For best results, make sure you address both strength and flexibility. Luckily you don't have to figure out which exercises to perform, our PT's have done it for you! Scroll down to view your exercises.
Try to perform your exercises a few times a day. Slowly cycle down as the pain resolves.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Using these strategies you should see significant improvement within a week.
The evidence on knee braces is mixed and should not replace exercises. That said, many individuals report significant pain relief when utilizing a knee brace, particularly in the immediate period after an ACL sprain. There are a variety of knee brace types and it is important to pick the option that best fits your needs. For additional guidance, please view our Best Knee Braces of 2022 Guide.
Connecting with a joint care professional is the logical next step. Many individuals find this a bit daunting and delay care. But it is important to keep in mind that, generally speaking, the earlier treatment is initiated the more likely you are to experience a full recovery.
To help promote accessible care, our 2022 Joint Care Guide: Your Best PT Options in Telehealth, In-Home and In-Clinic is now available.
-- Check with your doctor or physical therapist prior to starting a new exercise program --
The quadriceps are located on the front of your thigh. When tight they add strain to the patellar (kneecap) tendon, which can lead to inflammation and pain.
The hamstrings are located on the back of your knee(s). Tight hamstrings place excessive strain on the knee joint as a whole, often exacerbating patellar tendonitis.
Quadriceps: Foam Roll
While a bit uncomfortable, this technique is very effective at loosening the quad musculature. Reducing strain/pain associated with patellar tendonitis.
The quadriceps are some of the most important functional muscles in the body. When weak, pain and instability in the knee often occurs.
The gluteus medius is located on the outer hip. It may seem strange to target the outer hips for knee pain, but research shows strengthening this region is key to reducing meniscal torque, inflammation and pain.