Many individuals experience front of the knee pain, this can usually be diagnosed as a fat pad irritation, patellofemoral pain syndrome or patellar tendon pain. The patellar tendon is a strong piece of tissue that attaches to the bottom of the kneecap (patella) to the top and front of the shin bone (tibia). Its job is to transmit forces generated by large quadricep muscles groups to the shin bone, which straightens your leg.
Patellar tendon pain usually builds up over time and is aggravated by repetitive jumping activities and typically eased by rest or ceasing the aggravating activity. Some people may also complain of a dull ache after a period of rest that goes away after they get up and moving.
A common reason for patella tendon pain is usually a sudden increase in training load, especially jumping activities. For example, increasing the number of training sessions per week, or introducing new exercises into a routine.
In terms of treatment short term strategies may include;
- Manual therapy
- Isometric exercises
- Load management to prevent further aggravation of the knee
In the longer term we usually look to strengthen the patellar tendon and the surrounding muscles through exercise.