Jumper’s knee, medically known as patellar tendinitis afflicts the tendon which connects the patella or the kneecap to the shinbone. This tendon has a key role to play in the way you use your leg muscles. It helps the muscles extend the knee so that you can run uphill, kick and jump up.
Jumper’s knee is very common in athletes whose sports encompass frequent jumping like, basketball and volleyball. On the other hand, even those who do not participate in jumping sports may develop patellar tendinitis.
Causes Of Jumper’s Knee
Patellar tendinitis is an overuse injury. It develops when you put frequent stress on the patellar tendon which results in small tears in the tendon, which the body attempts to heal. But as the tears become many, they cause inflammation and pain and a weakening of the tendon. When damage continues for more than a couple of weeks, it is known as tendinopathy.
A blend of several factors contributes to the development of patellar tendinitis:
- Repeated jumping is the most significant contributing factor. Sudden increase in the intensity of physical activity or an increase in the frequency of impact activity puts a lot of stress on the tendon.
- Low flexibility in the thigh muscles increases the stress on the patellar tendon.
- If certain muscles of the legs are stronger than others, the stronger ones tend to pull harder on the patellar tendon and this unbalanced pull triggers tendinitis.
Jumper’s Knee Symptoms
Jumper’s knee is characterized by pain that is usually present in that area between the kneecap and where the tendon attaches to the shin.
- At first the pain occurs only when you commence a physical activity or just after an rigorous workout
- Then it affects your sports performance.
- Ultimately, the pain is so excruciating that it begins to restrict your day to day tasks such as rising from a chair.
Natural Remedies For Jumper’s Knee
The following guidelines can help you deal with a jumper’s knee at home:
- Steer clear of all activity that generates pain. Do not work through the pain, it will further harm your tendon.
- Apply ice after any activity that causes you pain. Ice allays swelling and inflammation and thus reduces the pain considerably.
- Physical therapy will give you quick and brilliant results. Visit a physiotherapist and have 10 to 12 sessions with her. The exercises will help you stretch and strengthen the muscles around the tendon.
- Massage therapy is also recommended. However, make sure you visit a licensed masseuse who deals with sports injuries. At home you may use a base oil such as sesame seed oil or almond oil or avocado oil and blend in either clove essential oil or nutmeg essential oil or lemongrass essential oil. Add 5 drops of an essential oil to 10 drops of the base oil. These essential oils allay pain and swelling almost instantaneously. They make the muscles of the thighs strong and help reinforce the tendon.
- Ginger tea is advised by most experts and nutritionists to manage pains. Ginger is packed with a compound known as gingerols which helps assuage swelling and inflammation and consequently pain.
- Also, garlic is an excellent home remedy for managing the pain associated with tendinitis. Have 1 to 2 flakes of garlic per day for about a week.