Patellar tendinitis can affect runners, particularly those who engage in activities that involve repetitive stress on the patellar tendon. While it’s commonly associated with sports that involve jumping, running can still contribute to this condition due to the repetitive nature of the activity. After all, running is a continuous series of small jumps.
Here are some specific considerations for runners with patellar tendinitis:
- Running Surface: Pay attention to the surface you are running on. Softer surfaces, such as grass or trails, can be less stressful on the knee compared to hard surfaces like concrete.
- Footwear: Ensure you are wearing appropriate running shoes that provide proper support and cushioning. Shoes that are worn out or not suitable for your foot type can contribute to increased stress on the patellar tendon.
- Running Technique: Pay attention to your running form. Proper biomechanics can help reduce stress on the knee. Avoid overstriding and ensure a proper foot strike.
- Training Intensity: Gradually increase your training intensity and mileage. Sudden spikes in running volume can contribute to overuse injuries, including patellar tendinitis.
- Cross-Training: Consider incorporating cross-training activities that are low-impact, such as swimming or cycling, to give your knees a break while maintaining cardiovascular fitness.
- Stretching and Strengthening: Include stretching and strengthening exercises in your routine, focusing on the muscles around the knee, hip, and thigh. This can help improve flexibility and reduce muscle imbalances.
- Rest and Recovery: If you experience pain or discomfort, it’s important to allow adequate time for rest and recovery. Continuing to run through pain may exacerbate the condition.
- Medical Evaluation: If you suspect patellar tendinitis or are experiencing persistent knee pain, consult with a healthcare professional. They can provide a proper diagnosis, recommend a treatment plan, and offer guidance on when it’s safe to resume running.
The treatment for runners with patellar tendinitis may involve a combination of rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, physio therapy, and modifications to training. Individualised care is important, as the severity of the condition can vary from person to person. It’s crucial to address the underlying factors contributing to the injury and gradually reintroduce running activities once the tendon has had sufficient time to heal.