When putting together a patellar tendinitis treatment plan and jumper’s knee exercises, it’s important that the plan should always revolve around the patient and the specifics of their injury. No two treatment plans will be exactly the same. However, there are of course a number of common factors present, with tried and tested jumper’s knee exercises being the staple of the programme.
The best way to reduce pain from an overused patellar tendon is to release as much tension as possible from your leg muscles. Stretching may be the first thing on your mind in that regard, but for maximum effect, you need to combine stretching with self-massage.
In order to decide upon an appropriate course of treatment for students diagnosed with jumper’s knee, you must look at individual dancers to discern the specific conditions that created the overuse strain in the patellar tendon. The three most common culprits are a growth spurt, lack of flexibility and muscular imbalances.
Stretch your quads and hamstrings. Inflexible quadriceps and hamstrings can put extra stress on the patellar tendon. Basic, disciplined stretches of both muscles can help prevent tendinitis and help heal it.
In my experience the "normal" type of lower patellar tendonitis is most likely to occur in non strength trained athletes. In fact one of the most effective treatments for it is strengthening the quadriceps. In contrast, superior patellar tendonitis usually occurs in people that strength train regularly while simultaneously engaging in explosive jumping activity.
Isometric exercises have been proven to provide immediate pain relief in patella tendinopathy.
In technical language, jumper's knee is also known as patellar tendinitis, patellar tendinosis, or patellar tendinopathy (painful tendon).
It is a common complaint in tennis players due to the explosive muscle contractions needed for the sprinting, jumping and quick changes of directions during tennis. Poor flexibility of the quadriceps (thigh muscles), hamstrings and variations in leg and foot type (knock knees, bow legs, flat feet etc.) can contribute to extra load on the tendon and development of jumper’s knee.
It can be tricky to find the appropriate amount of physical stress that will promote repair in the quad tendons and not just break them down more. It will likely require some trial and error. Use pain as your guide. With tendinosis, if an exercise hurts it’s probably putting more stress on the tendon than you want. Try out some of these exercises and find a couple that allow you to get some good work in on your quads without hurting your knees.
Unfortunately, the full process of rehab and recovery can be relatively long for jumper’s knee; lasting up to a year among those prone to the issue. Ceasing the actions that caused the problem is step one.