Knee pain can be the result of many things: a direct injury, IT band syndrome, or muscle tightness. Often, a common cause is patellar tendonitis, which is inflammation of the – you guessed it – patellar tendon. This typically occurs in athletes, runners, or people involved in sports, such as basketball or volleyball, as repetitive jumping causes strain on the knee. In fact, patellar tendonitis is also known as “jumper’s knee.”
However, when knee pain occurs due to this injury, fear not as Airrosti can help! Continue reading to learn the physiology of the knee and patellar tendon, how their connection can cause pain, and some exercises that can help relieve pain!
How Patellar Tendonitis Causes Knee Pain
Your knee joint is comprised of three bones that meet and articulate with one another: femur (thigh bone), the tibia (shin bone), and the patella (kneecap). They all are connected by the patellar tendon, which extends from your quadriceps (front of thigh) muscles, attaches to the patella, and attaches to the front of the tibia.
The patellar tendon can get inflamed for various reasons. The most common reason is due to an over usage or increased load of the patellar tendon with impact-related activities (walking, running, jumping, etc.). It is commonly referred to as “jumper’s knee.” Most people will experience this pain in the portion of the tendon below the patella. However, resolving an overuse injury can often require more work than just taking time away from activity to rest.
Exercises For Patellar Tendonitis and Knee Pain
Although resting can typically reduce the frequency of pain, you may still experience pain with increased activity out of your day-to-day routine. This may be because the patellar tendon is compensating for a potential weakness or tightness in the muscles that attach to the knee joint. These muscles include the quadriceps, the hamstrings, and the calves (gastrocnemius/soleus muscles). To alleviate any knee pain from patellar tendonitis, try these three exercises!
*Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you experience any numbness, tingling, or reproduction of your symptoms, please contact your doctor.
1) Quad Foam Roll
- Place the foam roller on your thighs and balance on your elbows in a plank position.
- Brace your core and avoid arching or rounding your low back or lumbar spine.
- Roll from just above the kneecaps to right below the hip area. Lookout for tender areas.
- Once you locate a tender area hold for 10 – 20 seconds or until the pain lessens, then move to another tender area.
- To place a greater emphasis on one leg, cross the back leg over the other leg or simply shift your body weight to one side.
- To isolate the inner portion of the quads, widen your legs and rotate your feet out.
- To target your outer quads, bring your legs together, touch your toes and rotate your heels out.
- Perform this for up to 2 minutes.
2) Hamstring Stretch With Band
- For this exercise, you will need a resistance band.
- While lying face up, begin by placing the band under your foot.
- With the band securely placed, raise your leg up by flexing the hip and knee.
- The foot will be slightly flexed with your toes pointing towards you. This is the starting position.
- Slowly straighten the knee by pushing your heel towards the ceiling.
- You will feel a stretch in the back of your thigh/hamstring.
- Hold the stretch for 30 – 45 seconds, then return to the starting position.
- Complete 3 sets of 30 – 45 second holds, twice a day.
3) Glute Bridge
- Begin by lying flat on your back.
- Place your feet on the floor, underneath the bend in your knees, and in line with your hips.
- Roll your pelvis back towards the floor, lessening the gap between your back and the floor.
- From here, press your feet into the floor, with a focus on the heels.
- Squeeze your gluteal muscles and brace your core before beginning the movement.
- Now, lift your hips off the floor until your hips and torso make a straight line.
- Maintain the contractions in your core and glutes and hold this position for 2-3 seconds at the top of the motion.
- With a slow and controlled motion, return to the starting position.
- Complete 2 sets of 10 repetitions.
Airrosti Stops Knee Pain Fast
If knee pain has set you back, kick it to the curb with Airrosti! At Airrosti, our Providers will create a treatment plan that can help fix your pain right at the source. In addition, you will receive education on how to continue your recovery at home!
Read our Medical Disclaimer here.