Jumper’s knee is an overuse injury of the tendon that extends the knee which is the patellar tendon, that’s why it is also known as patellar tendonitis.
Most commonly it is found in athletes whose sports involve sudden repetitive explosive movement of the knee. Examples include- football, tennis, cricket, basketball, volleyball, and dance.
Over time this repetitive micro-trauma produces an inflammatory response that leads to pain. If it’s left untreated, this can lead to progressive tendon degeneration or weakening.
Signs and symptoms that may indicate that you have a jumper’s knee include pain at the Antero-lower portion of the patella or kneecap, and pain when beginning an activity or exercise which improves through the duration of the activity. Keep in mind, even though the pain typically improves as you are doing the activity, the most significant pain is often experienced after the activity is complete.
Physiotherapy treatment of jumper’s knee includes:
Cryotherapy reduces inflammation and pain.
Compression bandage or garment to reduce inflammation.
The physiotherapist will design an exercise program for load management.
Later on, Isometric exercises can be started, which will help the patient to reduce pain.
Then Eccentric exercises can be performed such as single-leg decline squats.
Stretching of quadriceps, hamstring, and calf muscles.
Strengthening of the gluteus, and hip flexors muscle by heavy slow resistance exercise, progressive resistance exercise, and functional task. For example- straight leg raise exercise, side-lying abduction of the hip, prone kickback exercise, bridging, clamshells, lunges, etc.
Exercise to increase muscle power such as split squats, faster stairs, and skipping exercises, etc.
Plyometric exercises such as jumping exercises, deceleration, and change of direction tasks.
Transverse friction massage.
Myofascial manipulation of knee extensor muscle group.
The knee bracing or taping technique, it will help to unload the knee joint.
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy.
High-intensity laser of class 4.
Sports-specific training at set intensity and duration.