A tendon is the junction between muscle and bone, and connects bone to muscle. Tendonitis is an overuse syndrome characterized by pain with use of the involved muscle/tendon and relief with rest. There may be swelling and tenderness associated with this condition as well. Tendonitis can affect virtually any muscle/tendon in the body – in the knee it will most commonly affect the:
Patellar Tendon (Jumper’s Knee)
The patellar tendon connects the knee cap to the lower leg. This condition will result in pain at the bottom o the knee cap when putting weight on the bent leg. If left untreated this condition can progress to more serious complications – including rupture of the patellar tendon.
The quadricep often called the “quad” is the powerful muscle group on the front of the thigh. This presentation will be similar to patellar tendonitis but the majority of the pain will be felt just above the knee cap.
The hamstrings are the muscle group on the back of the thigh that is responsible for knee flexion and hip extension. There is usually pain behind the knee with activities such as walking and running. Long distance runners are prone to hamstring tendonitis on the inner portion of the knee.
When treating tendonitis we utilize Myofascial Release Technique (MRT) or Graston Technique to address soft tissue restrictions and tightness that is affecting the muscle/tendon. Low intensity laser therapy is sometimes used to settle inflammation or pain associated with tendonitis. Further biomechanical assessment will also have to be done to identifying the underlying cause of the excessive stress to the tendon. As the pain subsides functional rehabilitation exercises will have to be incorporated to restore adequate strength and endurance to the affected muscle / tendon.