Are you interested in learning how to cure jumpers knee? In this article, I will describe the different steps I took to beat patellar tendonitis, and the tricks you can use to fix jumper’s knee on your own!
Before you read any further, it is important to remember that contacting your doctor for medical guidance is a very important step towards dealing with a knee injury such as patellar tendonitis, and it should be the first thing that you should do. Following this, there are absolutely steps that you can take on your own that can help to improve chronic patellar tendonitis (commonly referred to as jumpers knee).
According to a study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports,
“Jumper’s knee is an overuse disease. The initial subjective complaints are well‐localized pain, usually occurring after physical activities and often at the lower pole of the patella.”
Personally, I dealt with tendinitis from the time I was in about 7th or 8th grade until nearly the end of my time playing NCAA Division One basketball at Marist College. I used a physical therapist only at one point (during my senior year of high school), and over the years I have learned tons of tips and tricks that helped me beat patellar tendinitis.
Keep reading below to learn about a few of the most common causes of jumper’s knee, as well as how you can cure jumper’s knee on your own!
Causes of Jumpers Knee (Patellar Tendonitis)
The following factors could cause patellar tendinitis:
- Abnormal rotation of your lower leg
- Sudden increase in your weight
- Previous injury and localized weakness or instability
- A rapid increase in training level
- “Knock knees”
- Weak thigh muscles
- Glute weakness
- Overall improper training
- Hamstring/Quadriceps imbalance
- Lack of flexibility in your calves, ankles, quadriceps, or nearly any other part of your lower body
Can Patellar Tendonitis be Cured?
Jumper’s knee is a relatively basic overuse injury. Although it can be very painful and cause additional problems if not treated properly, it certainly can be cured!
How to Cure Jumpers Knee
Curing jumper’s knee is a multi-step process. Not only do you need stronger legs, but you also need more flexible and stable legs. Along with that, you also need to control your diet to help reduce inflammation. Here are the best tips I know for beating jumper’s knee:
Yoga for Patellar Tendonitis
The first step towards improving the symptoms of patellar tendinitis is doing flexibility exercises. Since this is an overuse injury, we want to first reduce inflammation through limiting activity and loosening the muscles surrounding the patellar tendon.
There are tons of different stretches for knee tendonitis you can do, but personally I suggest you to take up the practice of yoga.
You can go to a local yoga class, find yoga videos on YouTube, or you can use the service YogaDownload.com, like I do.
Stretching your quadriceps and hamstrings is most important for fixing knee tendinitis, but doing yoga for patellar tendonitis is even better because it helps stretch literally all of the muscles in your lower body, and it also helps keep your muscles in balance.
Consistently improving your flexibility by doing yoga for patellar tendonitis will alleviate tendinitis issues over time, as well as protect against them in the future.
For a rule, about 1/3 of your total time training should be working on flexibility. If not, your body will fall behind its full potential.
The Best Exercises for Jumper’s Knee (Strength and Stability Exercises)
Muscle imbalances and a lack of stability are usually very common effects of knee tendinitis and can actually be the cause of them itself.
By working on improving your muscular stability you will provide a base for strength exercises, as well as protect your knees in the short-run.
Doing yoga is a great way to improve the stability of your knee joint and the muscles around the knee, but there are specific exercises which are great for this as well.
BOSU Ball exercises, for example, are great for increasing your lower-body stability. You could also opt for trying things like stand up paddle boarding and using roller skates. These are unique ways you can help improve the stability of your knees and fix tendonitis, but they also could cause more issues if you aren’t safe while doing them.
There are many strength exercises which can be very helpful in improving jumper’s knee. Here are a few of my favorites:
The goblet squat is a movement which necessitates form over weight, and works to improve strength over a large range of motion. Also, it nearly ensures proper form and the almost complete reduction of pressure on your knee.
Trading in any other form of “squats” for goblet squats can be a huge key to obtaining knee health.
In my opinion, the best strength exercise for patellar tendonitis is the step up. Without a doubt, this is one of the simplest exercises to perform for your knees. Step ups, variations of the traditional step up, and many other single leg exercises also can have incredible benefits to your knees when fighting against tendinitis.
The step up is not that much harder than simply walking up stairs (until you add weight) and the movement improves many of the main functions of healthy knees.
The best way to begin using this exercise is to start with simple bodyweight step ups. After time, you can begin using weights or more advanced variations
As I have shown below, the traditional step up that you think of in your mind is not the only one. By working your legs in a variety of different ways, you will effectively train the whole scope of muscles around your knee, creating lasting strength and stability.
Check out these movements and work with them to create stronger and more stable knees!
Reverse Slide Lunges
Lunges are a great single leg exercise, but other than the reverse slide lunge, most types of lunges can strain your knees too much.
The reverse slide lunge strengthens your glutes, hamstrings and quads evenly, and it is one of the safest ways to strengthen your patellar tendon as well.
After you master the basic reverse slide lunge, you can try some advanced reverse slide lunge variations. Check out this video of a few of my favorite reverse slide lunge exercises!
Although these first exercises are great for full-leg strengthening, they are still more quad-dominant exercises.
Glute bridges are one of the easiest exercises to do in your home, and you can easily do enough throughout the day to make a significant impact on how your knees feel. You can do glute bridges nearly every day, and they are especially useful when you wake up in the morning.
For glute bridges, you can do either isometric holds (for time), or you can use a traditional rep scheme.
Once you are comfortable doing traditional glute bridges, you can try some more advanced variations such as the single leg glute bridge like in the video below.
Along with improving your knee health, glute bridges are also great for your back and spine, and your overall posture.
Single Leg Deadlift
Although single leg deadlifts with weight are great for developing leg muscles and athletic ability, doing bodyweight single leg deadlifts is one of the best ways to improve your knee health. Single leg deadlifts improve the mobility and stability of your knee joint, and the exercise strengthens the surrounding muscle as well.
Starting the morning with a couple sets of single leg deadlifts can help prepare your knees for the rest of your day!
Once you have mastered the single leg deadlift without weight, you can try weighted variation or BOSU ball single leg deadlifts to improve your knees even more.
Single leg deadlifts are especially useful for athletes who are trying to prevent knee injuries such as Jumper’s Knee while in competition.
Bulgarian Split Squats
Personally, my favorite single leg exercise and favorite exercise overall is the Bulgarian Split Squat.
Once you have began to improve your patellar tendonitis with strength exercises like step ups, glute bridges, and reverse slide lunges, doing Bulgarian Split Squats is an incredible way to “bulletproof” your knees.
The Bulgarian Split Squat is an essential movement for any athlete due to its ability to increase running speed and the vertical jump, and in my opinion, it is the best exercise for fixing jumper’s knee.
Bulgarian Split Squats activate and strengthen muscles of the lower body, increases the mobility and flexibility of your hips and quadriceps, improves your balance balance, and reduces the risk of nearly all lower body injuries.
The Bulgarian Split Squat increase the flexibility of hips and improves your balance since the natural motion of this movement involves a substantial stretch of your quadriceps muscle and hip flexor. Without a doubt, it is one of the best exercises for reducing hip flexor pain when performed consistently and correctly.
This effect can be even further enhanced by placing your front foot on an elevated surface as well.
Often, I will work multiple range of motion’s in just one session of Bulgarian Split Squats.
Here is an example of an Extended Range of Motion Bulgarian Split Squat:
If you can become a master of the Bulgarian Split Squat, you will certainly have strong and stable legs that are resistant to getting jumper’s knee!
Aquatic Plyometrics for Patellar Tendinitis
Aquatic plyometrics were the first thing I ever used on my own to help my knee tendinitis, and it is always something I keep in my routine to help reduce pain over time.
I don’t suggest you to do any land plyometric exercises if you have jumper’s knee, but aquatic plyometrics are awesome!
The cooling temperature of the water will help to reduce the pain you will feel from the knee tendinitis, and the reduction in the level of overall pain that you feel as a result of these exercises will encourage you to follow up the rest of your exercise program and recover fast.
According to Brad Walker, water aerobics can be very useful in enhancing the relief of any pain associated with knee tendinitis; it will help in several ways like:
- Improving your flexibility
- Enhancing your strength
- Improve your range of motion
- It will also help to improve postural alignment
Jumper’s Knee Supplements – The Best Supplements for Tendonitis
Along with the exercises for knee tendinitis listed above, you should also eat an anti-inflammatory diet as well. You should focus on eating whole, organic foods, but there are some specific supplements which can be very useful for reducing inflammation.
Turmeric, for example, is one of the most well-known anti-inflammatory supplements. Fish oil is another great example.
If you do not want to purchase a bunch of individual supplements, my personal suggestion is to use the Your Super superfoods powders, These superfood powders are incredible mixes of high-antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients. You can read my Your Super Review to learn more about them.
Concluding Thoughts – How to Fix Jumpers Knee Fast
With the advice of personal trainers and my athletic trainers at the various places I have played, I have now developed a system that I feel very comfortable in using with myself, and that has reduced my tendinitis to the point that I know feel comfortable enough to play basketball without any type of knee assisting strap or protective sports brace.
All the exercises mentioned here are what I would consider to be general recommendations, and should not be a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.
A professional medical doctor will be able to understand the condition of your knee, and help recommend the exercise program that will be suitable for the condition of your knee.
If you desire to work on your knee tendonitis by yourself, these exercises are very good examples of what can help you reduce overall pain and improve overall ability! For more tips on how to protect your knees, check out Apollo MD.
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