Now that spring is here we hope that you are gearing up for outdoor workouts in a safe manner. We want all of you to protect yourselves against a growing problem: orthopedic injuries from doing too much too soon! Today, we are talking about patellar tendinopathy, commonly known as Jumper’s Knee. This often affects active individuals, especially those who perform explosive movements like jumping or running or activities involving repetitive bending of the knee.
The patellar tendon extends from the end of the quad to the knee cap and to the top of the shin bone. Injuries to the patellar tendon can occur when there is a mismatch between what the body can handle (Capacity) and how much is asked of it to handle (Load). Looking at load vs. capacity is a systematic approach you can take to prevent a “too much too soon” scenario.
The goal of rehab or injury prevention is to get the capacity > load.
Looking at the diagram, we can see all the factors that contribute to load, including the more obvious ones such as volume, intensity, and frequency of exercise. Intuitively, these are the variables that we look to reduce when we think about load management and the “rest” that is usually recommended by health care practitioners. Sleep, nutrition, and psychosocial factors such as stress are often overlooked as contributing factors that can tip the scale against the capacity of the body.
A physical examination that includes a movement assessment performed by a licensed medical professional is used to determine which quality of capacity needs the most attention. An overloaded tendon usually requires load modification, as well as the use of corrective exercises to improve the capacity of the tissues. Here are some examples of exercises that we use in the clinic to load the quadriceps in order to improve the capacity of the patellar tendon:
Low Level: Quad Set / Wall Sit
Medium Level: Spanish Squat / Tempo Lunges
High Level: Plyometrics
If you have been experiencing knee pain and would like to speak with one of our professionals, please give us a call today at 646-875-8348, or email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org. We specialize in helping a more active population get back to doing what they love without injections or pain medication.