Treatment for Patellar Tendonitis
Understanding Patellar Tendonitis Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Patellar tendonitis, also known as jumper’s knee, is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in the knee. It is often caused by overuse or repetitive strain on the patellar tendon, which connects the kneecap to the shinbone. This guide will explore the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for patellar tendonitis.
What is Patellar Tendonitis?
Patellar tendonitis, also known as jumper’s knee, is a common overuse injury that affects the patellar tendon connecting the kneecap to the shinbone. While it was once thought to be an inflammatory condition, research has shown that it is a degenerative condition known as tendinopathy. This means that the tendon has undergone structural changes and damage, leading to pain and discomfort in the knee. However, proper treatment and management can help alleviate symptoms and prevent further damage. This condition is common among athletes who participate in sports that involve jumping or running, such as gymnastics, basketball, volleyball, and track and field.
Symptoms of Patellar Tendonitis Include:
- Pain and tenderness around the kneecap.
- Stiffness in the knee.
- Difficulty bending or straightening the leg.
Treatment For Patellar Tendonitis
Treatment options for patellar tendonitis pain includes rest, ice, and physical therapy; radial shockwave or laser therapy can accelerate healing in moderate to severe cases. Severe cases may require surgery.
The patellar tendon connects the kneecap to the shinbone and transfers the force generated by the quadriceps muscle to the lower leg. When this tendon becomes inflamed or irritated, it can cause pain and stiffness in the knee, making it difficult to perform activities that involve bending or jumping. However, with proper treatment and rest, most cases of patellar tendonitis can be resolved within a few weeks. It is important to get an examination to determine the severity of your injury so that you can choose the treatment that is best for you. If your knee pain is severe, or lasts more than a week, see a chiropractor or other qualified healthcare practitioner near you. At Ravenswood Chiropractic in Chicago, we offer free consultations for Patellar Tendonitis Pain.
How is Patellar Tendonitis Diagnosed?
Patellar tendonitis is typically diagnosed through a physical exam and medical history review. Your chiropractor may ask about your symptoms, when they started, and what activities worsen them. Our chiropractic physicians may also perform a physical exam to check for swelling, tenderness, and range of motion in the knee. In some cases, imaging tests such as an X-ray or MRI may be ordered to rule out other conditions or to get a better look at the tendon.
What are the Treatment Options for Patellar Tendonitis?
Radial Shockwave Therapy
Patellar tendonitis or tendinopathy can be frustrating and painful, but there is hope for relief with Radial Shockwave Therapy. Although results vary, this treatment has been shown to reduce pain after the first session and accelerate healing by promoting neovascularization and encouraging tendon regeneration. In addition, by stimulating fibroblasts and procollagen synthesis, Radial Shockwave Therapy creates a local healing response that can be especially beneficial for athletes who need to get back to training quickly. Sessions are typically 5-10 minutes long and scheduled a week apart, with most patients experiencing reduced symptoms within three sessions and complete healing within 6-12 sessions. Radial Shockwave Therapy may be the go-to option for those who have not responded to conservative treatments. In addition, it can be combined with other therapies like our Class IV Laser.
Class IV Laser Therapy
Class IV Laser therapy also effectively treats patellar tendonitis by accelerating tissue repair and cell growth. The photons of light emitted by the laser penetrate deep into the tissue, providing energy to the cells and increasing their ability to work efficiently. This results in faster healing and repair of damaged tendons, ligaments, and muscles. With laser therapy, patients can experience reduced pain and inflammation and a quicker return to normal activities.
One of the best benefits of Class IV Laser Therapy is faster healing. This is because the laser light stimulates fibroblasts, which produce collagen to help repair the damage in tendon injuries. Collagen is the building block of tissue repair and recovery. Therefore, laser therapy can speed up the healing process and help individuals recover from patellar tendonitis more quickly by increasing fibroblast activity and collagen production.
Patellar tendonitis can cause chronic pain and sometimes patients experience poor healing due to the formation of fibrous tissue. However, Class IV Laser Therapy has been shown to decrease this scar tissue formation, which can be a cause of chronic pain. By promoting proper collagen production and reducing excessive scar tissue, Class IV Laser Therapy can help alleviate painful symptoms and improve healing.
This non-invasive treatment increases blood flow and lymphatic drainage, reducing swelling and inflammation. Class IV Laser Therapy also accelerates the healing process by promoting neovascularization, allowing patients to recover faster and return to normal activities. Whether a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, Class IV Laser Therapy can help you overcome patellar tendonitis and get back to doing what you love.
By using specific wavelengths of light, Class IV Laser Therapy can block pain signals from the affected area to the brain, relieving chronic pain. Additionally, this therapy can decrease inflammation, a common cause of increased pain. Class IV Laser Therapy also stimulates the production of endorphins, natural painkillers that can help reduce pain sensation. The Laser Therapy we offer at Ravenswood Chiropractic in Chicago is an effective way to alleviate the pain of patellar tendonitis.
Class IV Laser Therapy for patellar tendonitis works by increasing the levels of ATP in injured cells. ATP is the energy source that cells need to heal and repair. When cells are injured, their ATP levels decrease, slowing the healing process. Class IV Laser Therapy helps cells heal and improve quicker by increasing ATP levels.
Chiropractic care can effectively treat patellar tendonitis. During your exam, our chiropractor will assess the knee joint, looking for signs of inflammation, weakness, or tightness in the surrounding muscles. Our chiropractors perform a functional exam and will also evaluate your posture, gait, and movement patterns to identify contributing factors to the condition.
Once inflammation is under control (either by rest or an advanced therapy such as Radial Shockwave or Laser), your chiropractor may suggest massage therapy, physical therapy, or joint manipulation.
It’s essential to seek treatment early on to prevent the injury from worsening and to follow the chiropractor’s treatment plan for optimal recovery. Ignoring the program or returning to activity too soon, even if you feel great, could prolong treatment or increase pain. If you suspect you have patellar tendonitis, don’t hesitate to seek diagnosis and treatment from an experienced chiropractor. At Ravenswood Chiropractic in Chicago, we offer free consultations for patellar tendonitis so you can discuss which treatment options may be suitable for you.
Mild to moderate Patellar tendonitis, or jumper’s knee, can be effectively treated with physical therapy. A skilled physical therapist can help you increase your range of motion, strengthen weak thigh muscles to reduce the strain on your patellar tendon, provide more muscular balance, reduce muscle spasms, and improve your balance and coordination. With various treatment options, physical therapy can help you return to normal activities and reduce pain and discomfort.
Patellar tendonitis often develops when athletes push themselves too hard and ignore pain signals. Surgery is usually unnecessary; in 20 years of treating patellar tendonitis, I have not had a patient who required surgery for it. Instead, we incorporate physical therapy into our patient’s treatment program. Our patients are treated with rehabilitation exercises and functional progression. These exercises may include stretching your lower leg, cycling, deep tissue massage, and strengthening exercises for the quadriceps and hips. With proper treatment, healing from chronic patellar tendonitis can take several weeks to months, depending on your condition and treatment.
At Home Care
At-home treatment for patellar tendonitis typically involves a combination of rest, prescribed physical therapy, and pain management. Resting the affected knee and avoiding activities aggravating the condition is essential for healing the tendon. Physical therapy may include prescribed exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee and improve flexibility. Pain management may involve over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription medications, and ice or heat therapy.
What Causes Patellar Tendonitis?
Patellar tendonitis is caused by overuse or repetitive strain on the patellar tendon. This can occur from activities that involve jumping, running, or sudden changes in direction, such as basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, and soccer. It can also be caused by a sudden increase in activity level or intensity or by not properly warming up before exercise. In addition, people with tight leg muscles or imbalances in their leg muscles may also be at a higher risk of developing patellar tendonitis; in these cases, functional assessments and physical therapy is particularly effective.
What are the Symptoms of Patellar Tendonitis?
The most common symptom of patellar tendonitis is a pain in the front of the knee, specifically around the patellar tendon. This pain may worsen with activity, especially jumping or running, and improve with rest. Other symptoms may include swelling, tenderness, and stiffness in the knee. In severe cases, the tendon may have a visible bump or thickening. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seeing a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan is essential.
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