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Jumperís or Runnerís Knee

Pain located to the inferior, lower aspect, of the knee cap may be due to a dysfunction of the tendon that runs from the lower aspect of the patella (knee cap) to the upper aspect of the shin bone, the tibial tuberosity.

So as to avoid any confusion at this point medics will refer to this as either the patellar tendon or alternatively the patella ligament, but they are one and the same. This tendon is subjected to great forces at times especially when repetitive jumping, running or kicking is involved and if the tendon becomes damaged or inflamed the condition will be referred to as patellar tendonopathy or tendinitis respectively.

Typical Causes


As the name describes this problem is commonly experienced by repetitive activities that involve jumping or running. However, anybody can suffer from this condition even if they are not very active although the most common causes are:

  • Sudden changes in your training regime particularly an increase in an aspect of your training.
  • Repetitive loading of the quadriceps muscle and consequently the patella tendon.
  • Poor quality or inappropriate foot wear.

Common Symptoms

  • Pain and tenderness will be experienced just below the knee cap
  • Activity will aggravate the area of pain
  • The area may be swollen and tender to touch

Treatment can often be carried out at home and the condition rarely requires surgery. Treatment options include:

  • Rest. This is important especially at the onset and early stages of the condition. Without rest the condition may become more serious and chronic.
  • Use cold therapy after activity to assist with pain relief and management of inflammation. Take care to ICE correctly. See the Pain Guru’s Blog for details.
  • The use of a support strap can assist with recovery and help prevent future episodes.
  • A physiotherapist will be able to assist with treatment and rehab advice if required.