The patellar tendon is a wide but short tendon, which starts at the kneecap (patella) and reaches until the top part of the tibia. The main purpose of the kneecap is to act like a fulcrum and generate a mechanical advantage hereby allowing the quad muscles to create a strong force at the knee that is required to run or jump. The problem with the patella taking so much of load is that it is bound to undergo injury at some point. A study found that the patella tendonitis injury accounts for 5 % of all types of running injuries. Unlike other running injuries, patellar tendonitis is more uncommon in women than in men.
The disease starts with the patellar tendon feeling a little stiff. It feels stiff while going down the stairs, while running downhill. Normally the injuries that occur on the tendon dissipate once you have finished warming up, however with patellar tendonitis the pain stays throughout the duration of the workout. It is imperative to distinguish patello femoral pain from the patellar tendonitis. The difference is that the side or the top of the kneecap does not hurt.
The long strains of the connective tissue which make up the patellar tendon often tends to get injured from all the force and stress applied on it. As compared to Achilles Tendonitis, Patellar tendonitis is not about the inflammation of the surface tissues as much as it is about the degradation and the damage of the tendon from stress. Patellar tendonitis can be described a chronic injury which sometimes lasts for many months. The poor flexibility of the quadriceps and the hamstring due to non-stretching exercise before the workout, often leads to an increased risk. The illness has also been associated with the poor leg explosive strength. Alternatively, weakened thigh muscles may not be effective in slowing down the speed of the decent while making impact.
Conservative treatments are affordable and are simple to implement. These treatments can be executed at home at your leisure and privacy. However, to get the ideal results, these should be done every day without fail.
– Cryotherapy: Icing should be done after each run. Icing is an efficient injury management technique, which is effective and ideal to relieve injuries and pain. Icing helps to reduce the inflammation of the surface tissues.
– Stretch the quads and the hamstrings: Stretching the hamstrings and the quad muscles helps to remove the accumulated stress in the muscles. Relieving the tension in the muscles facilitate the healing process.
– Single leg declining squats should be done twice a day.
– PVC pipe and single foam roller to massage your quads.
Aggressive treatments are slightly more expensive than the conservative treatments. Opt only for the aggressive treatments if you are suffering from serious chronic patellar tendonitis injuries.
– An integral part of the recovery process is to switch to a zero drop shoe. This will provide excessive relief and create a stress free environment for the foot. Keeping your calf, foot, and ankle healthy is imperative to enhance the process of recovery. Injuries in the past should be mentioned to the doctor at the time of diagnosis.
– Platelet Rich Plasma also called PPP come in the form of injections and can quickly heal a patient. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is good to alleviate the inflammation and aid in the recovery process. This form of therapy is an aggressive method of treatment.
Returning To Running Again
The treatment including eccentric deadline squats, should not last for more than 12 weeks. However, a study conducted on a group of volleyball players indicated that if you engage in training in the middle of the treatment, it is likely that you can return to running within only 10 weeks of treatment. The study indicated that the layers were being able to perform activities and tasks properly. However, this 10-week period is concluded based on a number of considerations. The main indication that renders you ready to run is that the patellar tendon has healed sufficiently. A good rate of healing indicates that it can take on sufficient stress now.