Patella Tendonitis

What is Patella Tendonitis?

A Patella tendonitis is an overuse injury affecting your knee.
Inflammation occurs at either the Quadriceps tendon (aka Supra Patella tendonitis) or the Patella tendon/ligament (aka Infra Patella Tendonitis).

This type of injury is most commonly found among runners and running involved sports (hockey, basketball, netball, soccer etc). It is also commonly seen in gym goers and cross fitters who place quite a lot of intense load through their knees in relatively short periods of time.

Anatomy of the Knee

Anatomy of the Knee

The Patella (knee cap) is attached to the Shin via the Patella tendon which stems from the Quads via the Quadricep tendon. This mechanism creates a pulley system so that when the Quads contract for example the lower limb will be extended. The patella is shaped to glide over the femur (thigh bone) quite easily. The role of these tendons is to distribute the forces moving through them during activity.

With regular activity and repeated forces being absorbed by the tendons, minor lesions start occurring and the rate of repair cannot keep up wight the rate of repeated injury.

Causes of Patella Tendonitis

As with all injuries there is not one text book case answer for everyone. This type of injury is most common and overuse injury:

- Tension in the quadriceps which adds additional forces through the patella tendon
- Poor Running technique
- Poor squatting/lunging technique coupled with inflexibility
- Biomechanics of the foot and hip which could be better
- Sudden increase in exercise intensity
- Sudden increase in the amount of training
- Unbalanced training program
- Not enough recovery time

Signs & Symptoms

signs and symptoms

- Local pain over the knee cap
- Exercise induced, gradual onset of pain
- Localised swelling
- Tenderness above and below the knee cap
- Weakness
- Buckling sensation of the leg
- Difficulty going up and down stairs.

How Can Sports Chiropractic Help?

Firstly you will be assessed to ensure that this is the injury you have and that there aren't any other corresponding factors at play. There are several different types of knee injury and a correct diagnosis is important to ensure you get the correct treatment.

Common Treatment Approach
* Please note that treatments are tailored to the individual and their needs and can vary from the information below which is presented as just a guide.

  • Use of Cryotherapy (ice) to reduce inflammation and swelliing
  • Myofascial Dry Needling (MDN) to facilitate the healing process and minimise swelling
  • Active Release to the surrounding soft tissues (muscles)
  • PNF stretching
  • Tendon friction release
  • Advise on strengthening exercises or stretches to build balance and strength back into your knee.

All sessions do include hands on treatment as well as guidance on how to modify your activity to cater for your current injury. Continuing to exercise is very important to a lot of people and often times with modification this goal can be achieved.

Once you are able to go back to full activity you will be guided on how to build your strength back up. You can read about our Sports Chiro services here and you can also read more about our approach to treatment.

When your ready, we have a convenient online booking system that you can access here.