Consider this statement, “Many people who participate in sports or fitness activities will get tendinitis at one time or another.” If you’re an avid athlete or fitness enthusiast like myself, chances are you have felt the discomfort of pain in your knees.
What is tendinitis?
Tendinitis is a persistent inflammation in the tendons. Typically in the knee, this involves the patella tendon between the kneecap and the tibia bone or the quadriceps tendon between the quadriceps muscle and the kneecap. The illiotibial band and the hamstring tendons can develop tendonitis as well. Injuries that do not adequately heal result in persistent inflammation and scar formation.
Overuse is a common risk factor for tendinitis. When the tendon is stretched repeatedly by doing the same kind of exercise over a long period of time, the tendon can become strained and inflamed. Runners often get tendinitis for this reason. Tendinitis can also be caused by intense exercise over a short period of time. For example, exercising all weekend to make up for the lack of physical exercise during the week. As we age our tendons become more brittle which makes our knees more vulnerable to stress and strain.
Tendinitis is usually treated with therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and activity modification that allows for healing. Here are some tips to treating knee tendinitis:
- Rest – Refrain from the activity that caused the tendinitis.
- Ice – Apply ice wrapped in a towel for 15 minutes once or twice a day. Ice helps reduce swelling, which will lessen knee pain and speed healing of the tendon.
- Elevate – Lie down and place your knee on a pillow so that it’s higher than your heart. This will aid blood flow and help reduce swelling.
- Compress – Wrapping the knee in an elastic knee bandage can help reduce swelling and ease knee pain.
- Ease back into activity – After your tendinitis disappears, don’t immediately go back to the same level of activity that caused your knee pain. Overdoing it can cause a recurrence of tendinitis. Warm up and stretch before beginning exercise. Then go slowly for a few weeks.
If you are suffering from knee tendinitis and would like more information on how to treat it, please call me at 425-823-400 or email me at ProOrthoAppointment@proliancesurgeons.com to schedule an appointment.