Knee injuries are common, especially if you play sports or constantly engage in strenuous activities. Among the most common knee injuries, many people develop the so-called “patellar tendinopathy.” It is a condition that can occur when the tendon joining your shin bone (tibia) and kneecap (patella) slowly wears down. This causes intense pain in the anterior knee over the patella tendon that often requires the attention of a doctor for knee pain.
Several factors can contribute to the development of patellar tendinopathy, including poor flexibility, training errors, and lower limb biomechanical issues. Fortunately, the treatment for this condition also comes in various options, among the most effective of which is physiotherapy. This article shares 3 of the best and most effective physiotherapy exercises you can try to accelerate the recovery of your patellar tendinopathy.
Exercise #1: Straight Leg Raise
Leg raise is a common core exercise usually included in a low-intensity workout. It is considered a bodyweight exercise intended to target several muscle groups throughout your body, such as your lower and upper abs, quadriceps, hamstrings, and lower back muscles. However, you can also perform leg raises to toughen your patellar tendon and enhance your range of motion. But to ensure this, you should repeat leg raises daily.
Here are the steps to do proper leg raises:
- Step 1: Lie flat on your back with your good knee bent and your affected knee flat and straight. Ensure that your lower back has a standard curve, with a space just enough that your hand can slip in between the small of your back and the floor.
- Step 2: Tighten the quadriceps muscles in your affected leg by pressing your knee’s back flat down to the floor. Slowly raise your leg 45 degrees from the ground, and hold for about 5 seconds.
- Step 3: Lower your leg back slowly to the ground and rest your muscles and tendons for up to 10 seconds between repetitions.
- Step 4: Repeat everything for 2 to 3 sets, with 10 repetitions each.
Exercise #2: Half Squats
Squats are another popular exercise mainly targeting the core, lower back, and leg muscles. It is considered a dynamic strength-enhancing exercise that requires multiple muscles in your lower and upper body to work together simultaneously. If you have patellar tendinopathy, doing squats is also recommended, as it can relieve knee pain and strengthen your tendons.
Here is how you should perform half squats the proper way:
- Step 1: Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, and have your knees and feet turned out to the side up to 45 degrees.
- Step 2: Ensure your back is kept straight and your buttocks tightened.
- Step 3: Bend your knees slowly to lower your body. Maintain the straightness of your back all the time, and do not allow your pelvis to lean forward or your knees to stretch past the tip of your toes.
- Step 4: Repeat everything between 8 and 12 times.
Exercise #3: Hamstring and Quadriceps Stretch
Flexibility is vital in maintaining a range of motion in the joints. Stretching is a crucial part of exercising, as it helps keep the muscles strong, flexible, and healthy. For those suffering from patellar tendinopathy, hamstring and quadriceps stretches are helpful because they can strengthen the two primary muscles in the knee, namely the hamstring and the quadriceps. Moreover, they can minimise tightness around the patella tendon.
Here are the right ways to do a quadricep stretch:
- Step 1: Find a wall to support yourself and stand on one leg.
- Step 2: Bend your other knee as far back as possible, but make sure not to overdo this.
- Step 3: Hold the position for as long as you can, but aim to reach 15 seconds, then 30 seconds, and until you can do a minute. You will likely feel a stretch in the front of your bent leg’s thigh.
For a hamstring stretch, on the other hand, here are the steps to follow:
- Step 1: Lie flat on your back, and lift your one leg as far as possible. Again, be sure not to overdo this.
- Step 2: Straighten your leg with your knee locked. With your hands placed behind your knee, pull your knee into your chest.
- Step 3: Hold the position for as long as possible, but aim to reach 15 seconds, gradually building to a minute. You will likely feel a stretch at the back of your stretched leg’s thigh.
Physiotherapy is one of the best ways to treat knee injuries like meniscus tears and patellar tendinopathy. Doing the physiotherapy exercises in this article can effectively strengthen and stretch your lower body muscle groups and ultimately speed up your recovery from patellar tendinopathy. However, remember that these exercises are intended to be slow and deliberate. Hence, to achieve complete recovery, rushing is a big no-no.
To get better ideas on treating your injuries effectively, you should seek the advice of a pain management specialist in Singapore. At Pain SG, you can find some of the best and most experienced specialists on the island who can assist you with pain prevention, management, and treatment. Our treatment options and pain-relieving products can address many conditions, from back pain and knee pain to sacroiliac joint pain and bursitis.
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