What is it and who gets it?
Jumper’s knee (aka patella tendinopathy) causes pain at the front of the knee. It is an overuse condition caused by doing too many explosive movements that overload the patella tendon. Up to 20% of jumping athletes, particular those who play basketball and volleyball, suffer from this problem but it can also occur in those who play other sports. It often starts with mild pain but this often builds up over time if not treated. The condition can last for many years and can be difficult to cure. In some cases it has been responsible for ending an athlete’s career.
If you have jumpers knee there will be pain just below your knee cap that gets worse with activity. Most people will report a stiff knee in the morning especially after playing sport the day before.
How is it treated?
The best way to prevent this problem is to include some heavy lower limb weight training into your fitness programme twice a week.
If you have, or think you have, this condition get a professional assessment so that the right treatment can be started to prevent the condition getting worse. Treatment starts with specific exercises but other specialised treatments may be required, such as shock-wave therapy or, less commonly, PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injections.