The patellar tendon is a band of tissue that connects the patella or the knee cap to the tibia or shin. This helps the stabilization of the knee joint and prevents the shin from going out of the knees. The patellar tendon is one of the extensor mechanisms of the knee wherein it helps the legs extend together with the quadriceps muscle and tendon. It also makes the kicking out of the leg possible.
The patellar tendon is made of tough bands and is nourished by a vascular lining since tendons are not commonly supplied directly by a blood vessel. The development of tendonitis is a result of irritation and inflammation of the patellar tendon. And when this happens, pain directly over the patellar tendon is felt along with other symptoms such as swelling, tenderness, crepitus or crunching sensation on the knees, and limited range of motion of the knee joint.
Despite these, patellar tendonitis is rarely serious and more aggressive treatments are not usually needed to relieve the condition. On most cases, home remedies may help relieve the inflammation and pain as long as tears are not present on the tendon. Here are some of the remedies that you can do at home to manage inflammation of the patellar tendon:
Rest is the initial remedy for patellar tendonitis in order to avoid the activities that may aggravate the condition. When pain develops following any activity, rest from your activity to prevent further pain.
• Stretching exercises
Stretching the muscles around the patella such as the hamstring, quadriceps and calf is a good way to relieve patellar tendonitis. Particularly, eccentric stretching exercises are excellent for the management of patellar tendonitis. Stretch your muscles not until pain is felt to prevent more inflammation and pain.
Icing is another excellent remedy for tendonitis since it helps relieve swelling and pain without the use of pain medications. The cold temperature numbs the nerves around the area affected to relieve pain. The ice also reduces swelling through the vasoconstriction of the blood vessels on the vascular lining. Ice packs should be placed for 15 minutes three times a day on the affected knee.
• Use of counter irritants
Use of essential oils as counterirritants is also an effective way to provide temporary pain relief. Tea tree oil, menthol and camphor are all effective counterirritants. These applications create a soothing feeling on the surface of the skin for temporary pain relief.
• Use of knee support
The use of jumper’s knee strap reduces pain because of limiting the tension that the knees and patellar tendon receives. During patellar tendonitis, knee supports help patients employ regular and non-impact activities with less pain to maximize their level of functioning.
• Sports massage
Sports massage is another remedy for patellar tendonitis to hasten the recovery and improve the rehabilitation of the patellar tendon. It specifically increases the circulation on the affected knee for that matter. Sports massage specifically caters to deeper soft structures to reach the affected tendon.
When you feel pain on your knees, these measures are very helpful to improve comfort. Nevertheless, if pain persists, despite these remedies or when pain and swelling worsens, better consult a health care provider for further treatment.