Patella Tendonitis: An Exercise Guide From A Physical Therapist

Patellar tendonitis, commonly known as “jumper’s knee,” is a painful condition that affects the tendon connecting the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone (tibia). It often occurs due to repetitive stress or knee overuse, commonly seen in athletes who participate in activities involving jumping and sudden directional changes. Seeking professional guidance is crucial for managing this condition effectively. A physical therapist can play a pivotal role in designing a tailored exercise regimen to alleviate pain and promote healing.

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Quadriceps Strengthening Exercises

Enhancing quadriceps strength is vital for stabilizing the knee joint and alleviating strain on the patellar tendon. Customizing exercises like leg presses, squats, and lunges to match individual capacities is critical. Begin with minimal resistance and incrementally adjust it as comfortable.

Hamstring Strengthening

Balanced strength between the quadriceps and hamstrings is crucial for knee stability. Incorporating exercises like hamstring curls and Romanian deadlifts can help reduce undue stress on the patellar tendon.

Eccentric Exercises

Eccentric exercises focus on the lengthening phase of muscle contraction. Slow, controlled squats and leg lowers can benefit patellar tendonitis. These exercises help improve tendon resilience and promote healing.

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Patellar Tilt Correction Exercises

These exercises specifically address the patella’s misalignment or tracking issues. They encompass movements like terminal knee extensions and patellar glides, crucial in restoring proper patellar alignment. This targeted approach ensures the optimal functioning of the knee joint.

Balance And Proprioception Training

Improving balance and proprioception (awareness of one’s body position) is crucial for preventing future injuries. Simple exercises like standing on one leg or using a wobbleboard can enhance stability around the knee joint.