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 knee tendinitis (commonly referred to as jumper’s 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 Knee Tendinitis
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
There are several exercises that will help relieve the level of pain of knee tendinitis, including the ones I have listed below.
Start with Stability Routines for Jumpers Knee
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 tendinitis 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 movements 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 Jumper’s 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 Tendinitis
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/Training for Jumper’s Knee 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
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!