Knee Tendonitis & Running – Is it possible?
The knee is a great joint. It is one of the strongest joints in the human body. Just imagine for a moment, how much weight and stress it endures during one single day. Because of this pressure, the knee joint is commonly known to experience an injury called Knee Tendonitis.
What is Knee Tendonitis?
Knee tendonitis is a common injury that occurs when the tendons that connect your knee muscles and patella to the leg bones (tibia) become inflamed—all too often due to overuse.
The pain you experience is your tendons swelling and becoming more painful. It can also lead to feeling pain at the back of your knee, or on the inside of your knee.
Other symptoms of Knee Tendonitis is feeling pain when you bend your knee.
Knee tendonitis is often the result of a single specific incident, such as a sudden change in activity level or a direct injury to your knee. However, in some cases, knee tendonitis develops gradually as the result of repetitive motions or even a job where you are on your feet all day.
What Causes Knee Tendonitis (Patellar Tendonitis)
Knee tendonitis can be caused by a few different things. One of the most common causes is overuse of the knee. This is often the case when a runner develops tendinitis after pushing their body too hard at a race or after frequent running in a short period of time.
Other causes of tendonitis can be from a lack of warm-ups or cool-down before and after exercise, or from using the knee in an unnatural way.
Knee Tendonitis running is also a common issue amongst marathon runners who have intense training regimes and run for extended periods of time and distances.
How to Treat Patellar Tendonitis
There are a few treatments you can do for yourself to help with your Patellar Tendonitis. In no particular order these are:
- stretch regularly. Stretching allows the muscles around the knee (and Patellar) to be exercised and ultimately remain flexible, agile and become stronger. It also helps to oxygenate the muscles and prevents spasms from occurring.
- Use a Patellar Strap. Patellar straps are very useful knee support aids that help to target the Patellar. It applies pressure to the tendon that connects to the Patellar, and helps to support it by taking some pressure and strain from running. They are generally an economical solution and easy to find. You can find out more in our in depth article about Knee Straps for Running.
- Maintain rehabilitation exercises. It is always a good idea to perform some rehabilitation (strengthening) exercises for any weak areas of the body. Essentially these exercises will strengthen the surrounding muscles to the target area to help support and relieve the strain the knee joint takes.
How to Prevent (and Recover from) Patellar Tendonitis
This is somewhat similar to the above question about treatment of Patellar Tendonitis. The key difference here is that you are performing these exercises, and suggestions BEFORE you experience Knee Tendonitis running.
Here are some actions you can take to PREVENT Patellar Tendonitis from occurring.
- You can perform similar warming up and stretching exercises before you take off for your run. In doing so, you will be bringing blood and oxygen to the knee joint to prevent any instant strains on the muscles or tendons.
- Again, using a Patellar Strap for support (even if you do not have an injury) will help to prevent your knee from weakening and eventually succumbing to knee tendonitis. Regular readers of The Best Knee Braces know we are big advocates for preventing injuries from occurring.
- Choose your running surface carefully. We get it, some people are limited in choices for their running track. Sometimes you just want to get in a quick run in before dashing off to your next appointment. However, if you can avoid running on hard surfaces like concrete and bitumen, you can save a lot of stress on your knee joint. Ideally you would choose surfaces like grass/fields, and dirt track. The softer surfaces are nowhere near as harsh on your joints and you will find running a lot easier and pain free.
Final Thoughts for Knee Tendonitis Running
Running is a fantastic exercise to include in your workout schedule.
However, too much running can end up in common injuries – like knee (Patellar) tendonitis.
Fortunately, we have identified some treatments you can do immediately to remedy any grievances you may be experiencing as a result of knee tendonitis.
We have also taken it one step further to help you PREVENT knee tendonitis from setting in.
We recommend following these guidelies for a pain free running regime!