Patellar tendonitis

Will a strap work?

1 to 20 of 38 messages
25/11/2002 at 13:28
I have been wrestling with (self diagnosed) patellar tendonitis for the last six months. I originally went to a physio who suggested cross training and stretching.

This largely hasn't worked and I'm now getting frustrated and without a cure I can't run quickly.

I have been reading on the Web about tendon straps and wondered if anyone has experience of trying one and whether it worked. Alternatively, anyone recovered from this injury who has any tips?
25/11/2002 at 17:12
No experience of tendon straps , but I have this at the moment - too stubborn to not run, but climbing stairs can be painful at times! Anyone else out there that can help?
26/11/2002 at 01:11
Mr Stumpy I had exactly the same problem with pain climbing stairs. My physio won't let me run and I am sticking with his advice as things have been getting better the last couple of weeks.

I am having one session of physio a week where the main treatments are ultrasound and the thingummy where you have electric currents passed through electrodes at the injury site. He has also given me a infrapatellar band to wear which basically applies pressure to the tendon area. I don't wear this to exercise which mainly consists of swimming and light cycling.

I would be interested to hear from people who have made a complete recovery. This would definately boost my morale as not running is a drag.
26/11/2002 at 12:04

By tendon strap do you mean strapping to correct the movement of the patella into the right 'grove'? If so, the only advice I can give is that this can be different for each individual and corrections can be in opposite directions. Which I guess if you get it wrong would worsten the problem.
26/11/2002 at 16:48
My understanding is that the strap works in a couple of ways,

Firstly, it spreads pressure across the patellar tendon and relieves individual stress points.

Secondly, it lifts the patellar slightly again relieving pressure - as a subset of this it can help tracking.

Finally it reduces vibrations across the tendon (caused by running).

That the theory anyway! Personally I have no confidence that it will work but am getting desperate.

27/11/2002 at 08:39
I wear my patella strap EVERY time I run. It helped with patella tendinitis almost immediately but did not comepletely cure the problem (that was with stretching!).

They are comfortable to wear and only cost a tenner (phone PhysioMed on 01457 860444), so you have nothing really to lose by trying it, and no I don't work for the company.

I was told the whole point of the strap is to help with the tracking.

27/11/2002 at 11:38
Thanks Rob - I have ordered one and will give it a try. The most annoying thing is the injury is variable, one day it can be quite painful and the next almost non-existent. I also find that during running the pain is almost gone e.g. I ran two marathons in October with no pain at all!

Let see how I get on.
27/11/2002 at 12:30
Rob - what particular stretching helped the most - I do all the usual after a run, maybe not for as long as i should, but I now pay particular attention to stretching my thighs and it helps partially. Will probably try a Patella Strap if things don't improve this week.
27/11/2002 at 12:34
Mainly the hamstrings & calf - my physio used to spend the whole time stretching these, by me laying on my back with one leg flat and the pained leg raised and her pressing down the raised foot towards my chest.

However, I think stretching all muscles rather than just one area is what's needed (unfortunately).

Good luck,

PS - I also got orthotics to solve the tracking problem as I'm very flat-footed and while these are not cheap I truly believe that most of my problems from tight muscles is caused by the pronation problem I have. I'm not a doctor - it's just my humble opinion.
27/11/2002 at 15:19
Thanks for the tips - looks like I'll be doing a lot of stretching....
27/11/2002 at 16:10
As with a lot of tendinitis problems, the best cure is rest for a few weeks but this doesn't always sit well with your activities and plans. I've exoperienced plantar and achilles versions which rest cured but not patella.
16/12/2002 at 09:46
16/12/2002 at 20:39
I've had a recurrent knee bursa on the lateral side of the knee - which I thought was patella tendonitis. Rest did nothing - physio treatment cured it overnight but it keeps coming back every 3 weeks.

Stretching like mad at the moment - quad stretches - where you raise your foot behind you but hold it with the opposite hand - so you're pulling it across.

Thing that really makes the difference for me tho - and which I do the day after every long run - is going to the gym and having a strap behind the knee - suspended from a point attached to a pulley just a bit higher than the knee - with upto 20lbs weight on it - then just straightening the knee and slightly bending it again. You could do this with a rubber band thingy - max reistance - suspended from a door knob (door closed!!)

This exercises the inside quad muscle - which if weak allows the knee cap to be pulled to the outside - hence the rubbing on the o'side of the knee and the soreness.

Running for me works the lateral quads only so I have to artificially work the inner ones to stop them being overpowered and literally pulled out of place.
17/12/2002 at 08:51
Hi SS, if you're only working the lateral quads when you run are you in the right shoes?
17/12/2002 at 10:02
I have similar problems,I am doing one leg raise and curl to strengthen the quads. Very surprised at the weakness in the quads doing one leg raise after being an avid squatter. Intersted in Shattered Shins exercise but don't follow the instructions. Can you be a bit more explicit. I have a rubber band thingy!!
17/12/2002 at 13:59
My patella tendonitis started niggling in March 2000 and became aggrevated a few months later after a long sponsored walk. When I started extended training for a trail race in Dec 2000 it eventually became so bad I could only hobble around - missed the race.
I then had physio for 3 mths (electro. and massage) and it seemed to cure it. I promptly started training again and it went completely again.
In short, I lost a whole year's training and my exercise regime went from 40 miles/wk. to 6 mls /wk. max.
The only cure is total rest for several months, then gradually build up your training again (preferably on soft ground). I feel only now am I almost back to normal after 2 years. I still wear a knee strap for re-assurance but don't really think it does anything.
20/12/2002 at 18:21
Further to my earlier contribution to this thread I am still having the physio once a week and do not expect to start training again until early February and that might be optomistic. Today I have seen the doc and he gave a steroid injection to the tendon which is now of course sorer than before and will probably be worse again tommorrow.
14/01/2003 at 19:02

The Cortisone injection followed by another couple of weeks rest has done it.
14/01/2003 at 19:45
I don’t know if this is the same as what you are all talking about but my physio tells me that I have slightly torn my patella tendon, I have had physio now for two weeks and no running and it is much better, he says I can start running again in a few weeks does this sound right or do I need a second opinion.
15/01/2003 at 06:54
I've just started wearing the strap again (originally I didn't use it as it seemed to make the problem worse). Now though wearing the strap means I can run almost pain free.

I have also been doing lots of cross training and this combined with regular stretching seems to be gradually relieving the problem.

Glad to see you're running again Keith - be careful though.
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