Patellar Tendonitis (Tendinitis)
Patella tendonitis (also known as Jumper's Knee and Sinding-Larsen-Johansson disease) is a painful condition affecting the patellar tendon (also called the patellar ligament or anterior ligament) in the knee joint. Like all forms of tendinitis, patellar tendinitis is a condition that can flare up and subside over a period of time. Inflammation in the patellar tendon is often due to irritation and/or micro-tearing of the collagen fibers. When the fibers tear, they become weaker, inflamed and swollen causing pain and tenderness in the area.
Tendons, by nature, receive very little blood flow. This prevents certain areas of the tendons from getting adequate blood supply in order to repair and maintain themselves. This makes tendons prone to micro-tearing and inflammation if they are strained or overused.
There are 2 types of tendonitis, acute and chronic. Acute tendonitis refers to inflammation that comes on suddenly, usually from a tendon strain or overloading it during exercise. Chronic tendonitis occurs over time and generally results from long term repetitive use of the patella tendon. With both types of patellar tendinitis, scar tissue develops on the tendon as the tears begin to heal. This scar tissue mends the tears in an abnormal way leaving the collagen fibers weaker and less flexible and its presence can result in re-tearing the same small areas over and over.
The patellar tendon connects the shin bone (tibia) below the (patella) kneecap to the quadriceps femoris tendon above the kneecap. The fibres of the patellar tendon encase the patella itself, allowing it to glide up and down.
The patellar tendon is responsible for extending the knee with the help of the quadriceps femoris tendon which passes down both sides of the patella and the quadriceps femoris muscle in the upper leg - a process known as the quadriceps mechanism.
Other conditions which can be a cause of anterior knee pain are commonly confused with patellar tendonitis. These conditions include quadriceps tendonitis, chondromalacia, patello-femoral subluxation and hyper-pressure, fat pad impingement or Hoffa's Syndrome, and patello-femoral arthritis.
Patellar Tendonitis Causes
Patella Tendonitis is usually caused by repetitive use of the patellar tendon, but can also be caused by trauma such as a blow to the knee. This condition is most common in an athlete who is involved in "jumping" sports such as basketball, gymnastics, figure skating, and volleyball. Other risk factors include:
- Activities that require sharp, sudden changes of direction such as soccer.
- Activities that involve repetitive use of the knees, such as cycling.
- Having diabetes, gout and/or para-hypothyroidism.
- Landing or falling heavily on your knees.
- Age - as we grow older, our tendons become more brittle and therefore prone to injury.
- Mis-alignment of the foot, ankle, and leg including flat feet, leg length discrepancy, tracking abnormalities etc.
Symptoms of Patellar Tendonitis
- Irritation or acute pain just below the knee cap.
- Tenderness and swelling in the knee cap area or just below the knee cap.
- Difficulty running down hills.
How You Can Treat Patellar Tendinitis
The best way to treat patellar tendonitis is to rest the area, especially avoiding the particular activity that produced the condition. If the strain was minor, the body should be able to heal the tendon fibers normally. Unfortunately, this is not the usual result, due to the injured tendon being used instead of rested.
The body heals the injured patellar tendon fibers by binding them together with fibrotic adhesions, or scar tissue. This is a normal, protective response of the body, done in an attempt to prevent further damage to the injured area. Unfortunately, this leads to inflexibility in the knee and possibly chronic knee problems.
The trick to healing any tendon injury is getting it to heal with minimal scar tissue formation - something the Inferno Wrap® is great at! Even with optimum healing there is always less elasticity in a previously injured tendon. You need to make sure you heal this as best you can - that way, your chance of re-injury down the road is much lower than average. If not treated properly, persistent symptoms will occur, which may eventually lead to corrective surgery.
Cold Compression Therapy
Using cold compression to treat Jumper's Knee reduces pain, swelling, and tissue damage.
The Knee Freezie Wrap® allows you to treat yourself in an effective and convenient way to rid yourself of the pain of patellar tendinitis below your knee.
Cold compression therapy works by interrupting and slowing nerve and cell function in the damaged area. This is important because once blood vessels are damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood to the patella tendon and tissue cells begin to break-down.
The deep cold provided by the Knee Freezie Wrap® slows cell function thereby reducing cellular break-down. Furthermore, because the cold wraps serve to numb the nerves, the wraps also reduce pain! The Knee Freezie Wrap® uses a deep cold gel pack with a medical-grade neoprene compression cover to keep the ice off your skin preventing cryoburn and to surround your kneecap with soothing cold.
Once the inflammation and swelling of Jumper's Knee has been alleviated, nourishing and strengthening the patellar tendon tissue in the knee is recommended. Using Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy will speed your recovery and heal your soft connective and muscular tissue more completely preparing your knee for leg strengthening exercises. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist to find out which exercises are appropriate for your situation.
Inferno Wrap® Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy
After the inflammation and swelling below your kneecap and around your patellar tendon is gone, you can begin to treat your entire knee with Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy, or BFST®. BFST® increases the amount of blood that flows naturally to your knee to nourish your meniscal cartilage, muscles tendons, and ligaments to speed healing.
By treating yourself with Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy you can increase your body's blood supply to the knee and your body's natural healing power. In addition, the fresh blood flow whisks away dead cells and toxins that have built up from the tissue damage of patellar tendinitis leaving the area clean and able to heal faster. Our Knee Inferno Wrap® provides the most effective, non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief and healing with no side effects.
During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort in your knee until your pain and inflammation settle. Taking the time to care for your knee properly will have your knee back to normal faster and allow you to get back to the activities you enjoy.
The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results! With these 3 easy therapies you will notice incredible results in your knee.
Remember: We recommend that you visit your doctor and/or physiotherapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they're right for you and your condition.