Sports activity is starting at younger and younger ages. Some of these sports can be highly competitive and require long hours of practice and game play. This increase in daily and weekly activity can lead to “overuse injuries.” These injuries occur because of stress on the bones, tendons, and ligaments from repetitive activity.
What is jumper’s knee?
Jumper’s Knee or patellar tendonitis is pain and inflammation of the patellar tendon. The patellar tendon attaches the knee cap to the upper shin bone. It occurs when the strong quadriceps muscle pulls on the knee cap leading to pain and inflammation in the tendon. It typically occurs in teenagers that participate in sports requiring jumping, like basketball and volleyball (but can happen in any sport). Pain occurs while running or jumping during activities.
How is jumper's knee treated?
- Rest from sport if pain severe
- Ice after activities
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories
- Patellar tendon strap
- Quadriceps muscle stretching
Can jumper's knee be prevented?
Like all over use injuries, gradual build-up of activity can help prevent jumper’s knee. A good stretching routine after the muscles are warm—particularly focusing on the quadriceps muscle can also be helpful.