Patella Tendinopathy or Runners Knee
This is a condition that results from overuse (chronic or acute) of the patella tendon, which connects the kneecap (patella) to the shin (tibia). Commonly, this is through activities such as running or jumping.
- Pain over the front of the knee
- Pain or stiffness first thing in the morning
- Gradual onset of pain over time with activity
- A decrease in pain once the knee ‘warms up’
- Inflammation and Swelling
- Inability to kneel
- Pain up/down stairs
The Good News:
The good news is patella tendinopathy can be prevented when training with sensible monitoring of training load and easing into new activities. This load is different for everybody and depends on the level of activity the tendon is used to. Too much of an increase in load too quickly and the tendon will become damaged.
The best way to deal with the injury while it’s acute is to address the pain and swelling around the patella. This is done with a combination of rest, ice and elevation of the knee. Avoid strenuous activities such as running and jumping.
Physiotherapy is important to determine the cause of the injury. A physiotherapist is skilled at examining the external factors that could be contributing to your injury, such as: ankle/foot biomechanics, poor control around the knee or muscle length issues. Physiotherapists can also prescribe a graded-loading program in managing patella tendinopathy, provide manual technique to improve flexibility and reduced pain and also administer Shockwave therapy which is clinically proven to improve tendon problems