As we enter the winter months and the cold sets into Hampton Roads, we begin to stay inside where it is warm for our sports seasons. We take to the hard court sports including basketball, volleyball and racquetball. Running outside in the cold and snow takes a backseat, whereas, running on the treadmill in the gym while watching TV or listening to music on your iPod is a more comfortable way to exercise. As we travel indoors for exercise and sport, the impact forces increase throughout our lower extremities due to the surfaces we walk, run, or jump on. This can lead to one of the more common injuries that we treat during the winter months, Patellar Tendinitis.
What is Patellar Tendonitis?
Patellar Tendonitis (also known as Jumper’s knee or Runner’s Knee), is the inflammation of the band of tissue that connects the knee cap (patella) to the shin bone (tibia). Patellar Tendinitis can be developed from a number of repeated activities such as jumping, running, walking, or bicycling. Also, some people may develop jumper’s knee who have problems with the way their hips, legs, knees, and/ or feet align. Some of the symptoms of jumper’s knee include pain and tenderness around the patellar tendon, swelling in knee joint, pain with jumping, running or climbing stairs, pain with bending or straightening the leg, or tenderness in the knee-cap.
Tips to Avoid Injury
Simple ways to avoid developing Patellar Tendinitis is to make sure you properly warm-up and stretch before physical activities. Also be sure to wear proper footwear, this means wearing an athletic shoe that is both appropriate for your type of foot (neutral, pronator or supinator) as well as the activity you are going to be involved in (basketball vs. running). Remember that most athletic shoes lose their shock absorbing properties after 300-400 “miles” of running or walking. It is also important to take rest breaks and be careful not to over train, as many forms of tendinitis can be attributed to overuse.
About Marc Forrest
Marc Forrest, PT, MSPT, OCS (Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist), practices physical therapy with Hampton Roads Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. Marc and his team treat a range of patients for orthopedic and sports medicine needs at their Newport News Location, 730 Thimble Shoals Boulevard, in Oyster Point.
Learn more about our Physical Therapy Services.