Knee Pain? What To Do if It’s Patellar Tendonitis

Patellar tendon brace
Print icon

Feeling pain in your knees when you are exercising?

Jon Davis of Hartford HealthCare’s Sports Medicine team says that it could be due to patellar tendonitis. Patellar tendonitis, also known as Jumper’s or Kicker’s knee, is the inflammation of a tendon, generally due to overuse. Patellar tendonitis specifically is caused by repeated tension of the knee extensors (quadriceps).  As a result, inflammation may occur in the patellar or quadriceps tendons.  If you have repetitive forceful knee extension (from, for example, running or weightlifting), the knee may begin to appear swollen and could lead to tendon inflammation.

Signs and symptoms of patellar tendonitis include pain and tenderness below the knee cap, as well as swelling over the affected area. There are three stages of pain from patellar tendonitis:

  • Pain only after sports or activity.
  • Pain that occurs during and after activity, but does not inhibit performance.
  • Prolonged pain during and after activity that impairs athletic performance.

It’s important to seek treatment prior to the later stages of pain. The longer you wait to address the pain, the longer it will take to return to activity without pain.

The challenge in treating this injury is the ability to return to activity without symptoms returning. Many types of treatments for an athlete with patellar tendonitis may be effective in resolving symptoms: ice, heat (such as ultrasound or a heating pad) and stretching/strengthening.  A patellar tendon brace (also known as a chopat strap), as shown above, applied at the base of patella may also be beneficial.

The brace applies compression to the area, taking some tension off the tendon. This can alleviate some of the pain associated with patellar tendonitis. If your symptoms become prolonged or worsen, you should consult a physician for alternative interventions, such as medication or physical therapy.

For more information about the treatments Hartford HealthCare offers for athletes of all skill levels, please visit Mysportshealth.org 


What's New

Vegetables

An Obesity Doctor’s Top 5 Myths About Weight Loss

As an Obesity Medicine Specialist, I know losing weight is not an easy task, and many myths persist about how to do it—which end up making it even harder. Below are the most common misconceptions on weight loss and physical activity I commonly hear during an office visit and hope...

Three young couples on the beach.

Summer Countdown: 9 Health Benefits of Sunshine

Usually, at this time of year, we like to warn people about the dangers of too much sunshine or too little protection from sunshine. Not today, with the state reopening after so many weeks of self-quarantine during COVID-19. In so many ways, glorious sunshine is good for your health. Here...


Working at Home Now? Here’s How to Work Out While You Work.

For many working adults now working at home because of the coronavirus pandemic, one thing hasn’t changed: The 9-to-5 routine still involves a lot of time sitting down, whether it’s sitting in a desk chair for eight hours or sitting through long virtual meetings. At least you don’t have to...

Workout

Here’s Your Exercise Plan During COVID-19 Pandemic

Now that your gym is closed and you’re staying home because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it doesn’t mean you need to skip exercising. “The best example of aerobic exercise is sustained walking,” said Dr. Darren Tishler, director of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Hartford HealthCare. “Biking (both stationary and...

Jeffrey A. Flaks

A Message From Hartford HealthCare CEO Jeffrey Flaks

With the concerns about coronavirus and COVID-19, I want to assure you that Hartford HealthCare is doing everything possible to protect the safety and well-being of the people and the communities we serve, and our team of healthcare providers. Our goal is to be ready and prepared for whatever is...