What is it?
The Patella tendon is located between the bottom of your knee cap and your tibia, or shin bone. It helps to straighten out your knee and plays an important function in actions such as kicking, jumping, and running. Patella tendinopathy occurs when there are tiny micro-tears in the tendon, which often causes pain and swelling around your knee and the top of your shin.
How is it diagnosed?
Patella tendinopathy usually occurs because of an overload of the tendon. This can happen as a result of poor biomechanics of your lower limb; an overload on the tendon from other areas of your body e.g. your knee, tight hip muscles; from an increase in activity e.g. more training in preparation for an event; or from poor strength in your quads muscle and tendon. Pain is often experienced with activities that require you straighten your knee under load e.g. walking up and down stairs, jumping, standing up from a chair.
Because the injury often occurs because of overloading, taking a detailed history about the pattern of your symptoms is a big indicator of this type of injury. At Ergoworks we not only take a detailed history and look at your Patella tendon and knee directly but we examine and assess your whole body to see if there are any areas away from your Patella tendon that are contributing to your injury.
How is it treated?
Treatment of Patella tendinopathy normally involves strengthening your quads muscle and Patella tendon with a series of progressive exercises. Soft tissue release, dry needling, taping, and stretching are often used to help reduce the load on the Patella tendon as well. These techniques can be used anywhere on your body that may be contributing to the injury.
Addressing your exercise or sporting technique is often an important way of preventing the injury returning. If the injury is being caused by something like poor foot biomechanics or poor strength and control around your hip then Ergoworks will also help to address these issues to prevent recurrence or long term problems.
What is the prognosis?
Because the injury often occurs because of overloading, early intervention often means early recovery. Early intervention may mean recovery occurs in a matter of weeks whereas a more severe injury may take months to full recover.
If this sounds like something you’re struggling with, come and see us in the clinic today!