Tendinitis of the Knee: Symptoms and Treatment

Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle

Patellar Tendinitis or Tendinitis of the knee is inflammation of the tendons that connect the patella (kneecap) to the shinbone.

It is also referred to as jumper’s knee because it most commonly affects athletes whose sports involve frequent jumping and similar high impact activities(basketball, volleyball, running are just a few examples). Patellar Tendinitis typically occurs in athletes when too much strain is placed on the knee.

Individuals, who do high impact activities on the weekends, but little during the week (weekend warriors), are at a particularly high risk for this since they are not maintaining their fitness. Being overweight is another risk factor due to increased force on the knees. Age is also a risk factor because flexibility typically goes down as

Symptoms of tendinitis of the knee include:

  • Pain above or below the kneecap
  • Swelling
  • Pain that recurs with particular activities and eases with rest
  • In severe cases, pain becomes constant and can even disrupt sleep

Treatment options

Tendinitis does not always require a doctor’s care. It will very rarely require surgery. Please be sure to consult your primary care physician for a proper diagnosis.

The R.I.C.E. method and a few other things you can do to help speed the healing process:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevate
  • Take OTC anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen
  • Ease back into activity
  • Use a knee support brace

If pain is severe, or keeps coming back, physical therapy should be the next step. Your physical therapist will work with you on stretches and exercises to increase flexibility and strength. In rare but very severe cases, once the above steps are taken, your doctor may choose to do corticosteroid injections, platelet-rich plasma injections, and as a final resort surgery.

Further prevention

Adding a solid stretching routine to your workout will reduce the risk that you will develop tendinitis again. Adding a yoga workout or two each week and being sure to warm up stretch thoroughly before working out is a great way to strengthen the tendons in your knees.

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