What is Patellar / Quadriceps Tendinitis?
Patellar tendinitis is a common overuse injury. It occurs when repeated stress is placed on the patellar tendon. The stress results in tiny tears in the tendon, which the body attempts to repair. However when the tears in the tendon increase faster than what the body can recover, it causes the inflammation in the tendon to worsen.
How is Patellar / Quadriceps Tendinitis Diagnosed?
Physical examination by applying pressure to different parts of the knee determines exactly where the pain is. Pain associated with patellar tendinitis usually concentrates on the front part of the knee, just below the kneecap. Ultrasound is also used to reveal the location of tears in the patellar tendon. However MRI can reveal more subtle changes in the patellar tendon.
What are the Causes?
Repeated jumping is the most common cause of patellar tendinitis. Sudden increases in the intensity of physical activity or increases in frequency of activity also add stress to the tendon. Additionally, being overweight or obese increases the stress on the patellar tendon which in turn increases the risk of patellar tendinitis.
What are the Treatments?
Treatment includes resting which means to avoid running and jumping, massaging the patellar tendon which encourages tendon healing and strengthening the tendon by strengthening exercises which involve lowering weight slowly after raising it, such as a seated knee extension exercise.