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Photo of Sam Parham from Parkour crew, Team 101 JUMPERS KNEE
by SAM PARHAM
TEAM 101

JUMPERS KNEE
(Patellar tendinopathy / patellar tendinitis)
A little Background on me and how I developed Patellar Tendonitis or Jumper’s Knee.

Please first of all note, that I am not a Doctor, I have never studied this subject, and everything covered in this is what I have read up on and gathered from numerous sources largely over the Internet.

A little Background on me and how I developed Patellar Tendonitis or Jumper’s Knee.

Please first of all note, that I am not a Doctor, I have never studied this subject, and everything covered in this is what I have read up on and gathered from numerous sources largely over the Internet.

Ok, My name is Sam Parham, some of you may know me, some of you may not. www.samparham.com : is my website and basically is about me (if you at all interested).

I have been practicing Parkour for roughly 3 years now. I have also been practicing Urban Acrobatics for just over one year.

A couple of months ago whilst performing at an event I began to feel my knees hurting a little. As we were doing quite a few shows each day, I put it down to too much stress and decided it would be fine again after the shows.



WHAT IS JUMPERS KNEE?
PREVENTION
OTHER HEALTH AND FITNESS ARTICLES


So I stupidly continued and also continued to train in the weeks after the show, without ever properly allowing myself to heal. Of course the pain developed and it got to the point that during one training session my knee was hurting so much I literally had to stop.

For a week or two after, just walking was made difficult, with the inkling pain below my kneecap. Finally I decided enough was enough and it wasn’t worth me continuing as I was and then finding myself with walking trouble later in life.

I hate going to the doctors as I always get the same reply of: “we don’t know what it is, but just rest it” so I decided to do some research myself.

I believe what I had developed is ‘Jumper’s Knee’ or ‘Patellar Tendonitis’ which is basically pain below the knee cap (more specifically the tendon below the knee cap).

If you’re reading this and thinking you may have the same thing, don’t worry. Luckily this isn’t a major issue as long as you take it serious and treat it seriously.

I personally hate resting, I hate not training as Parkour and Urban Acrobatics quite literally are MY LIFE. But this is important; below I will look at exercises and techniques you can use to be shot of this problem in 3-4 weeks.
 
WHAT IS JUMPERS KNEE?
The patella tendon (or ligament as it is sometimes called) connects the kneecap to tibia bone. Under extreme stresses such as those involved in jumping a partial rupture can occur. This can often lead to inflammation and degeneration of the tissue.

Inflammation can also result from overuse.

Image shows a partial rupture to the patella ligament.

Injury to this often affects athletes involved in jumping or throwing sports. Weight lifters, Tennis and Badminton players can also be affected.

Rest in the early stages is important.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF JUMPERS KNEE?
Pain at the bottom of the kneecap especially when pressing in.

Aching and stiffness after exertion.

Pain when you contract the quadriceps muscles.

PREVENTION
Most overuse knee injuries can be avoided if the following are used:

Condition before starting a sport
If you want to take up (or continue) Parkour, Urban Acrobatics, FreeRunning etc etc, then it is a big must, to gain strength and flexibility in the main muscle areas primarily involved.

Conditioning is very important, these low intensity exercises will basically prepare you’re muscles and joints for greater intensity exercise.

Begin at a low intensity
For the first few weeks of training, start gentle and start light. Don’t go jumping off high objects or similar high intensity things in the first month or so of training.

Gradually increase duration and intensity slowly.

Kneepads
Wear kneepads if appropriate. I personally recommend the New Knee Straps. It is a strap that go around the leg just below the knee cap, on the tendon an support the tendon, specifically for Jumper’s Knee. (This does not mean you can continue training with that, because you will become reliant on it and it will be bad for you long term, just use it for the first few weeks of rehab if it helps walking etc).

Shoes
Wear shoes with firm arches and lateral support. A Decent pair of running trainers is advised.

Warm up
With a 3-part routine to prepare your heart, lungs and muscles for activity.

Jog 5-10 minutes to pump blood to your muscles, increase their temperature and loosen them up.

Easy calisthenics or strengthening exercises - mini squats, jumping jacks, pushups, side slides, burpees etc.

Cool down immediately after training to help your body systems to return to resting levels, walk for 2-3 minutes.

To improve flexibility of tight muscles, stretch while your body temperature is still elevated from activity (4-6 repetitions/stretches).

Generally what you need to do if you think you have Jumper’s Knee:

Rest – yes, I hate to hear it too, but realistically it MUST be done. This doesn’t mean don’t walk anywhere for a month, but it does mean no strenuous exercise. No running, no Parkour and no Urban Acrobatics or anything similar.

Ice – I recommend you spend a little bit of money and get yourself some ice packs. Ice the tendon below the kneecap fro 15 minutes roughly 3 times a day.

Stretches every day:
Now you can do these stretches any time you like. Personally I do them before bed every night but if you prefer another time, that is fine, as long as they are done.

Stretching exercises will also help loosen tight muscles.

Do not bounce and try to hold these stretches from 10-20 seconds at gentle stretching point.

6 reps per day 5-7 days per week.

Stork Stretch
Stand in front of a chair of a table of similar height with you’re back straight.

With one foot bent back resting on the chair keeping that thigh pointing down.

Clench you’re Gluts (Bum) and push your hips forward to feel stretch along the front of the thigh.

Do not lean forwards of twist hips

Ham String Stretch 1
Lie on your back with one leg straight on the floor and the other bent up 90° at the hip.

Slowly straighten the bent knee until you feel a stretch along the back of your thigh. (So it is now pointing straight up.)

Hold for 1-2 seconds then slowly lower your leg. Do 10-15 repetitions.

Ham String 2
Sit with one leg straight and the other bent to the side.

Slowly lean forward with your chest until you feel a stretch along the back of your thigh.

Do not reach forward with your hands.

Calf Stretch
Stand with your feet pointing forward.

Keep your heels flat on the ground and back leg straight.

Slowly bend the front knee forward until you feel an upper calf stretch in the back leg.

I hope that this information is helpful, if you have any queries of feedback, please direct it through my website contact found at: www.samparham.com

Main recommended Resource used:
The McKinley Health Center – a fantastic online resource for this and similar issues.


Warning!! - This injury may seem like a niggling injury that is not that bad. Many athletes continue to train and compete on it as it may not be a debilitating injury and recovers after a short period of rest. However, neglect jumpers knee at your peril! If left to become chronic it can be very difficult to treat and may require surgery.


 
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Banner and link to article on Jumpers Knee. Click here to enter JUMPERS KNEE
by Sam Parham
What is it, how do you get it and how to get over it.

Click here to view read the article on Jumpers Knee
 

 








 





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