Elderly Care: Helping You Deal With the Dying Process

Elderly Care: Helping You Deal With the Dying Process

Patellar Tendon Pain & Treatment

Julio Carr

Running can be a great way to lose weight and get physically fit. However, it can also be quite taxing on the body. Overuse injuries are very common in runners due to the repetitive and pounding nature of the sport. Injuries are more likely to occur in those who have recently begun a training program, those who have increased their training volume, those who have increased their training intensity, and those who have changed the surface on which they perform most of their training. One common injury is called patellar tendinopathy, or jumper's knee.

Signs and Symptoms of Patellar Tendinopathy

As opposed to other injuries of the knee joint, patellar tendinopathy is specific to the patellar tendon, which is the thick structure connected from the quadriceps muscle on the upper thigh to the shin bone. A few common signs and symptoms of the condition include:

  • Tenderness to touch over one or more areas of the patellar tendon (typically below the kneecap)
  • Pain when straightening the knee
  • Pain when performing knee extension exercises

How Does Patellar Tendinopathy Occur?

Patellar tendinopathy can occur in a variety of ways. However, the general way in which the injury occurs is from excessive load being placed on the patellar tendon. For example, jumping, and downhill running place some of the highest loads on the patellar tendon. As a result, individuals who perform either of these activities on a regular basis are those who are more likely to experience an injury to the tendon.

Healing

Because there is so much load placed on the tendon for a large portion of the day (any time the individual is bearing weight on the leg), the healing of the structure can be fairly slow. There are three phases of patellar tendinopathy that can help determine the speed with which the athlete is likely to return to their previous level of activity.

  1. Pain in the patellar tendon that occurs only after activity. These individuals can expect to return to their sport within three to six weeks
  2. Pain in the patellar tendon that occurs during as well as after activity. These individuals should expect to return to their sport within five to ten weeks.
  3. Constant pain in the patellar tendon. These athletes may expect an eight to twelve week rehabilitation process before they are able to return to their previous level of activity.

Treatment

Physiotherapy treatment for the condition revolves around reducing the load placed on the tendon to allow for optimal healing. Rest from activity, as well as quadriceps stretching can help reduce the amount of force transferred through the tendon during a given day. As a result, the tendon is placed in a more optimal healing environment.

Physiotherapists can also provide the individual with manual therapy techniques, including cross friction massage, to help realign the fibers of the tendon in a more optimal manner. This technique can be slightly painful, but is very effective at healing the structure.

Finding the right shoes can also help reduce some of the strain that is placed on the patellar tendon. The proper should is one that provides adequate cushioning and support to the foot during impact. Additionally, a shoe that controls pronation should be considered, and can be prescribed by resources like West Central Podiatry Consultants.


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About Me
Elderly Care: Helping You Deal With the Dying Process

As an elderly care worker, I have witnessed the deaths of many individuals. I have seen family members become angry, sad, and completely silent at the end. I have also seen individuals refuse to see family members out of denial. People deal with death in different ways, and the strong emotions are often unfamiliar and scary. If you have a parent or grandparent who is elderly, then I want to share with you what I know about end of life care and dying process. We are a society that does not talk about death, and this can cause great pain when a family member dies. Learn about the process and find out how to deal with your own emotions and how to love your family members at the end. If there is only a small amount of time left, then I want you to cherish the final moments.

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