Designed to Move | Jumper's Knee

Aug 21 , 2021

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Fluid Fitness

Designed to Move | Jumper's Knee

What is Jumper’s Knee 

Jumper’s knee is a condition of the knee, formally known as patellar tendinopathy. It is a painful condition, most often related to activities involving repeated and forceful knee flexion and extension, such as jumping as the name implies. While the cause of patellar tendinopathy is multi-faceted, it is generally known as a sport-related “overuse” or maladaptive training injury causing localized microtearing and inflammation of the patellar tendon, and is most common in sports which require high power output and high eccentric loading on the quadriceps muscles such as track and field, basketball, skiing, and volleyball. It is a clinical diagnosis and does not require expensive imaging in order to determine, although ultrasound may be useful in some cases. 


The Patellar Tendon

The patellar tendon is a large band of connective tissue which runs from the inferior pole of the patella to the tibial tuberosity. The quadriceps muscles come together to form a common tendon (quadriceps tendon) which attaches into the apex of the patella.  The patella is the largest sesamoid (free floating) bone in the human body, and acts to increase the lever arm of the quadriceps. The patellar tendon is the continuation of this system ultimately terminating at the tibial tuberosity on the anterior surface of the shin bone. 

 


Risk Factors

It is thought that there are ultimately nine major risk factors for the development of patellar tendinopathy. These risk factors include: increased weight, increased BMI, waist-to-hip ratio, leg-length difference, arch height of the foot, quadriceps flexibility, hamstring flexibility, quadriceps strength, and vertical jump performance. Additionally, individuals participating in sports with a high frequency of jumping are at increased risk. 


Treatment

Assess: 

Single leg decline squat:

  •  Standing on one leg with the heel raised, slowly lower into a single leg squat. Pain at the area of the anterior/inferior knee is a positive result (note: a test result positive for pain is not solely diagnostic for patellar tendinopathy and should be evaluated further by a trained medical professional). 

 

Mobilize: 

  • Quadriceps x 2 min 
  • Adductors x 2 min 

 

Activate

  • Prone knee flexion x 2 min 
  • Side lying hip abduction with isometric hip extension x 2 min 

 

Integrate: Spanish Squats 2 x 2 min 

 


References 

  1. Rio E, Purdam C, Girdwood M, Cook J. Isometric Exercise to Reduce Pain in Patellar Tendinopathy In-Season: Is It Effective "on the Road"?. Clin J Sport Med. 2019;29(3):188-192. doi:10.1097/JSM.0000000000000549
  2. Santana JA, Mabrouk A, Sherman AL. Jumpers Knee. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; March 17, 2021.
  3. Schwartz A, Watson JN, Hutchinson MR. Patellar Tendinopathy. Sports Health. 2015;7(5):415-420. doi:10.1177/1941738114568775
  4. Van der Worp H, van Ark M, Roerink S, et alRisk factors for patellar tendinopathy: a systematic review of the literatureBritish Journal of Sports Medicine 2011;45:446-452.

 

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