Patella Tendinopathy

Patella Tendinopathy

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We treat a variety of foot and ankle conditions, including the following:

Patella Tendinopathy

This is a condition that also comes under the umbrella of ‘anterior knee pain’. Pain is located in a focal area at the bottom of the knee- cap and often tracks along the midline towards the top of the shin bone. It can cause an intense ‘tooth ache’ type sensation. The condition used to be referred to as tendinitis as it was though that inflammation was the primary cause of symptoms but research has recently changed this thought process.

A tendon acts as a stretch and recoil mechanism to transmit force from muscle to bone. In simple terms it can be thought of as an elastic band. When the band has force applied to it then it will change shape and stretch but as the pressure releases it returns back to its original shape. We can think of a tendon like this and muscle exerts the stretching force onto the tendon. As it recoils back to its original shape it will release energy to move the associated joint. In this case the knee.

Tendinopathy involves a change in the structure of the tendon and thus its capacity to tolerate the loads applied to it as explained above can change. This can occur due to a number of factors including peaks in training load, previous injury or weakness through certain muscles. Often there a combination of factors and spotting these is important for treatment so a detailed assessment by a physiotherapist is essential.

Patella tendinopathy is common in heavy impact/ explosive sports e.g. netball, basketball and volleyball. Treatment will involve settling pain through techniques including taping, load management, soft tissue techniques, acupuncture and specific exercises. Loading is the ‘gold standard’ treatment but how this is applied and progressed is very important. Tendons can be very sensitive and so management of their recovery is a challenge. Rest in this case is not the answer but knowing what to do, when and how is the secret to recovery.

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We treat a variety of foot and ankle conditions, including the following:

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