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Injuries are never fun for any athlete.
For jumping athletes like those involved in basketball, volleyball, and track & field, the most common injury is jumpers knee a.k.a patellar tendonitis.
What Is Jumpers Knee (Patellar Tendonitis)?
Jumpers knee occurs when the patellar tendon (located just below your knee cap) swells up due to inflammation.
The patellar tendon is very important in sports because it connects your quads to your knees and helps you propel yourself off the ground when you jump.
It also acts as a stabilizer muscle in the leg, ensuring that you remain balanced as you jump or move around.
The patellar tendon therefore comes under a lot of stress, especially by athletes in sports that involve lots of jumping.
Signs & Symptoms
Tell-tale signs of jumpers knee include:
- Pain right below the knee cap.
- Swelling of the actual patellar tendon.
- Difficulty and pain while running or jumping.
Causes of Jumpers Knee
The most common causes of patellar tendonitis are:
- Excessive playing of sports on hard surfaces (e.g. outdoor basketball courts made of concrete).
- Increased training frequency.
- Increased training intensity.
- Training or playing in worn out shoes or shoes without good cushioning.
How To Prevent Jumpers Knee
To prevent yourself from developing patellar tendonitis, do the following:
1. Always warm up before workouts.
- Warming up before workouts is one of the best ways to prevent injuries of any kind.
2. Always stretch your muscles.
- Perform dynamic stretches before workouts and static stretches after workouts.
- When it comes to preventing jumpers knee, make sure you stretch your quads, hamstrings, and calves very well.
3.Strengthen the muscles around your patellar tendon
- In order to prevent jumpers knee, you need to strengthen the muscles surrounding your patellar tendon.
- Strengthen your quads, hamstrings, calves, and shins to minimize muscle imbalances in the leg and prevent tendonitis.
4. Train on appropriate surfaces
- Always try to train on soft surfaces like grass or training surfaces made out of thick carpet or rubber.
- This will minimize the impact and shock on your knees while you train.
How To Cure Jumpers Knee
There are several ways to treat patellar tendonitis:
- Icing your knees after workouts is a great way to reduce inflammation and speed up your recovery.
2. Strengthen your shin muscles
- Most athletes never train their shins and usually have a huge muscle strength imbalance between their calves and shins.
- By training your shins to become stronger, you will reduce muscle imbalances, improve your leg strength, and recover from tendonitis faster.
- Most gyms are equipped with machines to strengthen your shins, but there is one simple exercise you can perform without any equipment.
- The exercise is called elevated toe walks.
- To perform it, simply walk on your heels (you will feel it in your shins).
- This is a simple and effective way to strengthen your shins.
3. EMS (Electronic Muscle Stimulation)
- Many college sports teams use EMS to treat patellar tendonitis.
- I used it while I played college ball, and it was very effective as a treatment for jumpers knee.
4. STOP playing your sport and wait for full recovery.
- The best way to cure jumpers knee is to stop any physical activity and let time heal your injury.
- Many athletes never get rid of their tendonitis because they never give it enough time to fully recover.
- Take as many weeks off as you need to completely get rid of the injury before returning to action.
5. If Symptoms persist, seek medical advice!
- It is always in your best interest to seek professional help when you are injured.
- A doctor will know exactly what you need to treat the injury.
Jumpers knee is one of the most frustrating exercises for jumping athletes.
It makes it extremely difficult and painful to run and jump.
Always make sure you take the necessary steps to prevent this irritating injury, and if you still happen to get injured, visit a doctor and treat it accordingly.
Once you are completely injury-free and ready to train again, use the Jump Manual. It will really help you improve your vertical jump.