The condition you are describing is inflammation of the patella tendon. But what is the root cause of the inflammation and is wearing a strap going to address this?
Most knee conditions (patella tendonitis, knee bursitis, cartilage loss, patella femoral syndrome etc.) are all caused by the knee being out of correct alignment, which means it is not being used the way it was designed, which puts excessive pressue on the surrounding tissues - tendons, bursa, muscles, cartilage etc. - which causes a 'condition'.
Remember a properly aligned knee joint is NOT weak. It's designed to withstand enormous daily pressures and to withstand them well all your life. But if its not properly aligned then you develop a condition which equals pain which equals your body's way of telling you that something is not right and needs to change.
Try a little test for yourself:
Stand in front of the mirror and see if your knee caps and your feet point straight ahead or do they face in or outwards at an angle.
They should point straight ahead. Them being at an angle means the legs will not operate as they were designed to - the foot will not strike the ground correctly and your knee joint will not open and close correctly
Over weeks and months and years you will do damage to the knee which will cause pain, but this is not because of overuse per se, but rather due to overusing an incorrect pattern. Muscles position the hips, knees and ankle so therefore you need to work on balancing these muscles to address your problem.
You can wear straps, or alter your running technique, or change shoes and more often than not this will give you temporary relief. Unfortunately it hasn't addressed the ROOT cause, the postural misalignment, and so the pain either returns in the same place eventually or at a different location as the strap, shoe or altered running pattern has transferred the excessive forces and dysfunction to a different location in the body.
So what can you do? Spend as much time as possible barefoot, walk and move as much as you can. But most importantly balance your muscles, so that your posture is aligned, so that your joints work and you become pain free.
Feel free to ask me any questions.
Postural Alignment Specialist
Posted: 04/01/2014 at 15:44