Patellar tendonitis is an overuse injury commonly found in young athletes. This injury is often caused from sports that require a lot of jumping or running like basketball, tennis, volleyball, track and field, and soccer. With these motions, microscopic tears of the tendon can occur resulting in inflammation and pain, causing patellar tendonitis. Like many other overuse injuries, it can be difficult to anticipate and prevent them. Though it can be difficult to prevent, we’ll share some tips and tricks to decrease your risk for developing patellar tendonitis.
- Don’t play through the pain. Many young athletes try to do this and it often results in a less than favorable outcome. As soon as you notice any sort of knee pain, ice the area and rest. Avoid activities that put stress on the patellar tendon. Seeking help from a PT is also a great way to learn the proper techniques to rehab this injury.
- Strengthen your muscles. If your thigh muscles are strong, they’re more equipped to deal with the stresses put on your legs that often result in patellar tendonitis. This stretching out properly before a workout or your sport which can help warm up your muscles and reduce your risk for these microscopic tears.
- Improve your flexibility. When the muscles that cross the knee joint are inflexible, it can cause increased stress through the joint or tendons, which can lead to tendonitis. Improving your flexibility will help to decrease the stress in these areas and decrease your risk of injury.
- Improve your technique. Ask your coach or Physical Therapist about your sport to see if you’re performing something improperly. Others can often see an improper technique manifesting itself that you may not notice yourself. This can be important in preventing an injury.
If you do find yourself experiencing knee pain, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our Physical Therapists specialize in these types of injuries and are trained to get you feeling better and, ultimately, back in the game.