Chronic knee pain is often caused by a condition called tendinitis that can be difficult to live with. One treatment option that can restore your knees to normal is physical therapy. Choose the best physical therapists with experience treating knee pain.

What Tendinitis Is

Tendinitis is the term for when a tendon is inflamed or irritated. Tendons are thick strips of tissue that connect muscle to bone. Tendinitis of the knee, and specifically the kneecap or patella, is sometimes called Jumper’s Knee.

Many people develop this condition with age. Activities such as running, gardening, physical labor or even general housework involve bending and straightening the knees repeatedly, which can cause the tissue to overwork and become inflamed. Sitting at a desk without breaking to walk can stiffen the tendons and cause irritation as well. Another likely cause is a major injury to the knee.

How Physical Therapy Can Help

As with most physical aches and pains, medication is only so effective at reducing pain from tendinitis. To address the root cause, physical therapists can manipulate the tendons in ways that reduce irritation and help the tissue to heal.

Stretches That Will Increase Flexibility

Stretching the tendons of the knee helps ease pain by relaxing the inflamed tendon while it is at rest. Chronic irritation can cause the tendon to bunch and work all the time, causing pain.

It is very important to consult occupational therapists in Louisville before beginning a stretching regimen for knee pain. If the problem isn’t tendonitis, but a tear or injury to the tendon, stretching will worsen the tear and increase your pain levels.

Here are a few stretches to expect at a physical therapy appointment for tendinitis of the knee:

  1. Kneeling Hip Stretch with Knee Bend. This stretch is a deep lunge with the back knee on the floor and the front foot on the ground. Make sure your front knee is at a ninety-degree angle to avoid putting strain on the joint. Drop the hips to stretch the hip flexors and reach back for your ankle as you bend your knee. 
  2. Hamstring Stretch. This is the classic “touch your toes” stretch. It can also be performed in a sitting position with the legs straight out in front. Stretching the hamstring can take pressure off the tendons of the knee by encouraging a healthier range of motion through the whole leg. 
  3. Quadricep Stretch. The quadricep, or upper thigh, is a large muscle that attaches to the knee. Excessive exercise can lead to shortening and tightening of this muscle, which puts strain on the knee joint. To stretch the quadricep, a physical therapist may have you bend your knee and hold your ankle while leaning against a wall for support. 

Lessen Pain and Return to Normal Function

After years of physical activity to condition your body, it can be frustrating to experience constant knee pain from tendinitis. Looking for knee pain treatment near me can connect you with doctors, pain management clinics and physical therapists that can help restore knee function.