Ligaments are made of strong fibrous tissue that connects muscle to bone. The patellar tendon connects the quadriceps muscles (muscles of the upper leg) to the tibia (the lower leg) across the knee joint to assist in extending the leg. Tendonitis is an inflammation
or irritation of a tendon that may cause pain or swelling in the affected area.
Patellar tendonitis, also called “jumper’s knee”, is most often caused by continued stress on the tendon due to weakness in the quadriceps muscles, imbalances in the strength of the quadriceps and hamstrings, improper mechanics in the execution of athletic competition or exercise, a rapid change in the intensity or type of exercise, or a sudden change in training surface.
The main symptom of patellar tendonitis is pain below the kneecap on the patellar tendon, tightness, and swelling in the knee. This injury, although not debilitating, can create difficulty in carrying out activities such as running, jumping, and kneeling. If gone unchecked, patellar tendonitis may worsen, resulting in the formation of scar tissue within the knee joint or in the most
extreme of circumstances, rupture.
When experiencing the symptoms of patellar tendonitis, it is best to consult a physician in order to rule out the possibility of a more serious injury. If your symptoms are in fact a result of patellar tendonitis, it is best to reduce the intensity or frequency of the activity causing the pain in order to strengthen the leg and prevent further injury. Massage Therapy or Aquatic Therapy may be recommended for the treatment of patellar tendonitis. A RMT will employ such methods as manual therapy, ice, heat, stretching, and therapeutic exercise.