Contacting your doctor for medical guidance is a very important step towards dealing with a knee injury such as 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 while working with the doctor, can help to improve chronic patellar tendonitis (commonly referred to as jumpers knee).
Personally, I have dealt with tendinitis since I was in about 7th or 8th grade. I used a physical therapist only at one point (during my senior year of high school) and have maintained my knee health ever since.
With the advice of personal trainers and my athletic trainers at the various places I have played, I have no 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 brace.
Knee tendinitis is a problem that is common among active sportsmen and women. According to studies; Patellofemoral syndrome is responsible for about 5 percent of the overuse injuries.
It can be argued that the most important joint in the body happens to be the knee, as without proper stability here it is almost guaranteed that all of your lower body joints will feel a certain amount of pain, including your lower back.
Amongst many other reasons, you may experience pains on your knee if your tendons are inflamed.
This joint pain can and probably will affect your movement, and the type of exercise that you will need to help relieve you of the pain will have to help you in improving the strength and flexibility of your knee tendons and central muscles to this region.
Causes of Jumpers Knee (Patellar Tendonitis)
The following factors could cause knee 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
How to Cure Jumpers Knee
There are several exercises that will help relieve the level of pain of knee tendinitis, including the ones I have listed below:
Stability Exercises for Patellar Tendonitis
Muscle imbalances are usually very common effects of knee tendinitis; and can actually be the cause of them itself. This condition may affect your stability and also your overall range of motion, two things that will ultimately make your jumper’s knee worse over time.
The improvement of your overall stability should be the main focus of any knee tendonitis training. Yoga movements are especially helpful for training this. Movements with weight can be useful as well, but yoga itself may be the single best cure for jumper’s knee.
By definition, yoga works to balance out all of the muscles in your body, as well as creating strength and stability.
Any number of yoga poses will improve your knee stability, and I feel confident in saying that if we practiced yoga more frequently there would be far fewer cases of tendinitis in general in this world.
Strength Exercises for Knee Tendinitis
Aside from yoga movements, various strength exercises can be very helpful in improving your jumper’s knee.
Two of my favorite movements when referring to this are the goblet squat, and the step up. 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.
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.
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!
Flexibility Exercises for Jumper’s Knee
Again, yoga fits this mold perfectly. Aside from actually practicing yoga, there are multiple other stretches that can be beneficial to you.
First and foremost, however, you need to ensure that your body is fully warmed up before beginning any type of stretching at all.
After however, quadriceps and hamstring stretching will almost immediately improve your jumper’s knee. My personal favorite stretch is often referred to as the “3rd World Squat” stretch. This is performed by sitting in a squat position and holding the position for an extended period of time.
Consistently improving your flexibility over time will alleviate current tendinitis issues as well as protecting 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.
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
Additional Tips for Preventing Common Knee Injuries
Did you know that the knee is the largest joint in the human body? It isn’t surprising then to note that this joint is very susceptible to injuries.
Tears of the knee joint ligaments are amongst the most common injuries faced by athletes.
This can often be so bad that it leaves you bed ridden. However, you can protect yourself against such injuries. Here are a few things you can do to protect your knees.
The importance of a good warm-up and cool down before and after a strenuous workout cannot be stressed enough. Stretching exercises help make your muscles more flexible and keep the joints from getting too stiff.
You must do at least 2 sets of leg extensions before any exercise that puts pressure on your knees.
To protect your knees from injury, they must be strengthened from within. For this, you need to eat calcium as well as vitamin C, D and K. Vitamin D in particular is one of the most essential vitamins to maintain bone density.
This vitamin helps the body absorb calcium and thus makes bones and cartilage stronger.
To keep your knee joint strong, eat plenty of dairy products, eggs and green leafy vegetables.
Wear the Right Shoes
You can’t wear the same type of shoes for all activities. When you go for a run, you must wear shoes that support the foot and ankle and keep jerks from travelling between the ankle and the knee joint.
If you have a weak knee or have had a minor knee injury earlier, you could also consider wearing a knee brace.
This helps align your knee properly with the rest of your leg.
Have a Flexible Routine
Too much of anything is not a good for the body. Even when you exercise, you must switch things around a little from time to time. If running is part of your daily workout, replace it once a week with yoga.
You could also try swimming or riding a cycle once a week.
This gives your muscles a break and helps keep the knee joint flexible without over exertion. It also helps prevent injuries caused by muscle overuse.
Take a Break
As mentioned above, too much exercise is not good for the body. Your body needs time to repair and strengthen muscles between workouts. Hence, give yourself a rest day at least once a week. You should also schedule rest breaks within your workout.
Use this time to stretch the joint muscles.
Along with exercising an eating right, you must also sleep for a minimum of 8 hours a night. If your knees feel stiff before going to bed, keep them elevated. This does not allow fluid to build up in the knee joint and prevents inflammation.
The joints that face the most problems because of excess weight are your knees. This is because your entire body weight rests on your knees when walking or standing.
So, if you are overweight and find yourself often complaining of knee pain, it could mean that you need to lose weight. With the right diet and light exercise, you should be able to notice an improvement in your knees with each kilo of weight you lose.
If you have weak knees, it is a good idea to have an ice pack handy after your workout. When applied as a cold pack, this helps numb the nerves in the knee.
It also restricts blood flow and in turn reduces inflammation. Else, soak your knees in a bucket of cold water. When applying an ice pack, it is important never to bring your skin in direct contact with the ice pack.
Instead, wrap the ice pack in a thin towel to create a buffer.
Do Not Ignore Pain
A little stiffness after a workout is normal. However, if you find the pain persistent, do not ignore it. As with any other joint issue, the earlier it is addressed, the easier it is to treat your problem.
Consult a doctor if you find your knees inflamed or have even a slight dull pain that refuses to go away.
You can consider over the counter anti-inflammatory medication but this can only be a short term remedy and should not be used more than once or twice without a doctor’s prescription. If need be, you might also need physical therapy.
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Concluding Thoughts – How to Fix Jumpers Knee Fast!
Consistency in your exercises is very crucial in your recovery process, it takes time to build healthy and strong knees. Some people are blessed with no knee problems at all, but these people are few and far between.
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!