One of the most common ailments for basketball players is “Jumper’s knee” or patellar tendonitis. However, while tendonitis typically calls for ice to reduce inflamation, there is more to Jumper’s knee than inflammation:
Jumper’s knee, which should be known as patellar tendonosis, is actually a degeneration of the patellar tendon…caused by repetitive stress of the patellar tendon. However, it is suggested that the tendon dysfunction is accompanied by aberrant motion of the patella as well…treatment should address the function of the patellar tendon and joints of the knee.
How does a player address knee function?
Initial treatment should include heat and electric muscle stimulation to allow an increase of blood flow to the affected area, and help promote tissue healing. Soft tissue therapy, such as the Graston Technique, is beneficial in reducing the amount of fibrosis and adhesions within the patellar tendon. Also, manipulation of the patellofemoral (knee) joint may be necessary to assure the joint is functioning properly. These initial steps will help address the tendon dysfunction, as well as aid in pain control.
Further treatment may include Kinesio Tape on or around the patella to help re-educate the knee musculature into proper biomechanics. This is followed by rehabilitation of the knee, which includes multiple stretching and strengthening exercises. The idea is to educate the knee musculature to work properly, and then to strengthen the affected muscles in order to avoid future injury.