Knee tendinitis: how to treat knee tendonitis?

Knee tendinitis is defined by inflammation of the tendons that make up the knee. It is particularly associated with athletes and workers whose activity requires repeated and/or sudden activities.

Definition of knee tendinitis

Tendonitis is defined by inflammation of the tendon. Knee tendinitis is then linked to an infection of one of the tendons that make up the knee.

Tendons are elastic structures, that allow the muscle to be connected to the bone. In particular, they allow the body to move into motion, allowing the skeletal system and joints to be activated during muscle contraction.

The main pathologies associated with tendons are:

  • tendonitis, which is inflammation of the tendon
  • tendinopathy, characterized by progressive deterioration of the tendon
  • tenosynovitis, corresponding to inflammation of the synovial sheath, the membrane surrounding the tendon
  • tendon rupture.

These tendon assignments are generally the consequence of more or less important sports activities. But also by the realization of a movement too abrupt, such as a jump or a throw, poorly controlled. The repetition of the same action, greatly soliciting the tendon, can also lead to tendon damage. Running is the best example.

Knee tendinitis is particularly characteristic for athletes, especially athletes.

Crow’s feet tendonitis is a form of knee tendonitis. The inflamed tendon is located at the posterior inner surface of the knee. It concerns, once again, more particularly athletes whose actions on the knee are very solicited.

Causes of knee tendinitis

Tendonitis is usually the cause of excessive stress on the tendons, especially those of the knees, elbow, shoulder or ankle, and wrist.

Knee tendinitis particularly affects athletes, whose activity requires repeated and/or sudden movements at the knees. The sports most often associated with the development of knee tendinitis are athletics, running, football, dance, or cycling.

Beyond sports, other activities are not to be neglected in the risk of developing tendonitis. Especially in the context of manual work activities: carrying loads requiring repeated flexions and extensions of the knees, regular kneeling work, and others.

Who is affected by knee tendonitis?

Athletes, including athletes, footballers, dancers, cyclists, and others, are a category of people more at risk of developing such an attack.

Workers, whose jobs require excessive knee strain, are also at increased risk of knee tendonitis.

Symptoms of knee tendinitis

The clinical signs and symptoms most commonly associated with knee tendinitis are:

  • pain in the knee, amplified when it is set in motion
  • stiffness felt in the knee, felt more upon waking
  • weakness of the tendons of the knee, making it difficult to set the knee in motion
  • a feeling of crunching of the knee when it is set in motion
  • visible knee swelling, sometimes with a feeling of heat
  • the formation of a nodule, at the level of the affected tendon.

Tendonitis, resulting in a long period of rest and intense and persistent pain, can also lead to more general symptoms: headaches, general fatigue, etc. Some movements, requiring a more or less consequent solicitation of the knee, can be difficult, or even impossible.

Risk factors for knee tendinitis

The risk factors for the development of knee tendinitis are intensive sports practice, repeated and/or sudden movements, a job requiring kneeling work, or repeated actions on a daily basis.

How to prevent knee tendonitis?

Reducing the risk of knee tendinitis and prevention methods exist. These include:

  • warm-up well before a sports activity or a sudden and/or strenuous exercise and stretch well after
  • be well equipped (adequate footwear, specific equipment, hydration, etc.) as part of a physical activity
  • seek advice from specialists and experienced coaches in the context of performance improvement
  • refer to professionals for learning stretching exercises
  • avoid repetitive and sudden movements as much as possible
  • Hydrate well before, during, and after physical exertion.

As part of a work activity, requiring significant solicitation of the knees, break periods, adapted equipment, or training in gestures and postures can also demonstrate a reduction in risk.

How to treat knee tendonitis?

Stopping the activity in question is the first phase of treatment for knee tendonitis.

Paracetamol or Ibuprofen can be used to reduce pain. The application of cold, at the level of the area of pain, can also reduce the symptoms.

The doctor may prescribe physiotherapy or corticosteroid sessions in the most severe cases.

In rarer cases, surgical intervention may be recommended, in the long-term treatment and in the ineffectiveness of the means specified above.

Image Credit: Image by jcomp on Freepik

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