Tendonitis is a condition that involves irritation, inflammation or tears on a tendon. It is important to note that the tendons connect muscles to bone, transferring muscle movement throughout a joint which results to movement. Knee tendonitis is considered one of the most prevalent injuries to the knee and can be caused by overuse, injury during sports or the aging process.
What are the types of symptoms?
The distinctive symptoms of knee tendonitis include swelling and pain close to the kneecap. Any activity that involves rapid directional changes, jumping or running can place stress on the patellar tendon. Individuals who engage in basketball, running, cycling and soccer face a higher risk for developing knee tendonitis.
Take note that pain is the initial symptom of knee tendonitis. The pain is described as dull and throbbing around the front area of the kneecap. The pain worsens while climbing stairs, walking, kneeling, squatting or sitting for extended periods of time. Knee tendonitis usually exhibits swelling below the kneecap. The tendon sheaths that surround the tendon can become evidently swollen from inflammation and fluid accumulation.
In some individuals, the kneecap is out of its proper alignment which results to excessive wear and tear on the patellar tendon and neighboring soft tissues that leads to knee tendonitis.
Overuse, overtraining and increasing mileage rapidly can cause knee tendonitis. Tightness of the quadriceps and hamstring, weakness and imbalances can be considered as factors for its development. When an individual lands directly on his/her kneecap or engages in constant twisting and jumping movements, the risk for developing tendonitis is high.
Self-care for knee tendonitis
Knee tendonitis due to overuse typically responds well to self-care at home. It is recommended that the individual should rest and avoid activities that can aggravate the pain.
Application of an ice pack regularly at least every hour for up to 10 minutes can also provide relief. The affected knee should be elevated to minimize the swelling as well as compression using an ice bandage for support and reducing the swelling.
When to consult a doctor
It is best to seek medical care if the individual could not place any weight on the knee, knee pain is intense even at rest, knee buckles or gets stuck during movement and if the knee is severely swollen and discolored.
- An individual with knee tendonitis should gradually increase his/her physical activity to help prevent recurrence of the condition.
- Proper warm up before exercise must be observed with special attention to the hamstrings and quadriceps to prevent re-injury. In addition, these muscles should be allowed to cool down before relaxing from activity.
- The gait must be assessed to rule out pronation. In most cases, anti-pronation exercise footwear must be used if needed.
- The workout shoes must be replaced on a regular basis. This usually depends on the frequency of usage but replacement is required as frequently as every 6 weeks.
- The individual must stay in shape and cut down weight if needed since extra weight can add stress on the knee joint.