Jumpers knee

Jumpers knee can either come in two different forms either Patella Tendinitis which is inflammation of the tendon through over usage or Patella Tendinopathy which is the gradual degeneration of the Patella Tendon within the knee through overuse and strain of the Patella Tendon resulting in the Patella Tendon beginning to start to wear away with small microscopic damage developing.

Jumpers knee is named as such due to the high number of athletic jumpers that suffer from it. Jumpers are more susceptible to developing this injury as jumping places a huge level of stress and pressure on the knee when the jumper springs up off the ground into the air and when landing the sudden shock can also cause further wear and tear which overtime wears away the Patella Tendon.

Sport and over usage of the knee isn’t all to blame for Patella Tendinitis and Tendinopathy as ageing can contribute to the weakening and the degeneration of the tendon this is due partly because as we age our ability to repair and replace damaged tissues cells is reduced. This can also affect the elasticity and strength in your tendon causing it to be more susceptible to damage.

Symptoms include

  • Inflammation as well as swelling found around the knee joint
  • Pain which gets worse when bending and using the knee
  • The Patella Tendon feels sensitive
  • Stiffness and lack of mobility in the knee and leg

Jumpers Knee can often get worse that is why it is best to tackle the underlining cause as soon as possible.

If the knee is subjected to continuous excessive usage this can cause worsening of the damage to the tendon, as the damage continues and the tendon becomes weaker and weaker the symptoms will get worse too. Jumpers Knee is therefore very common in sport due to the high levels of strain and usage athletes put the knee under.

Prevention

Continuous strain and usage of the knee can cause microscopic damage as well as inflammation of the patella tendon thus it is very important that your knees are sufficiently warmed up before exercise in order to reduce strain and damage to the knee and promote sufficient blood flow to the area reducing damage.

-Reducing the stress and shock on the patella tendon is a really good idea which can be achieved by wearing shock absorbing insoles

Maintaining good form whilst running or jumping can help limit possible injuries which can cause damage to the tendon.

Recovery

It is always advised to let your knees fully recover after sustaining an injury to them especially when the injury involves damage to a tendon. Tendons often take a lot longer to fully heal than other parts of the body. Injury and damage to a tendon can also negatively affect its characteristics and bio mechanics which may take a while to restore.

If you go back to using your knees as normal after sustaining jumpers knee you run the risk of further damage to the tendon.

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