Can I run with patellar tendonitis?
Patellar tendonitis is an inflammation of the patellar tendon and is best described as a pain in the lower part of the knee. The patellar tendon is a strong tendon that connects the knee cap (patella) to the shin bone (tibia). It’s involved in straightening the leg, and as such, it plays an important role in virtually all lower-body movement.
Athletes are especially susceptible to developing patellar tendonitis due to the continuous strain placed on the tendon during physical activities, especially activities that involve a lot of running and jumping. In fact, patellar tendonitis is often known as Jumper’s Knee due to its connection with the impact of jumping. For more information on the causes, symptoms, and treatment of patellar tendonitis, please visit our dedicated injury advice page.
It’s an injury which, if severe, can significantly impact your training, and runners naturally want to avoid any setbacks. Can running with patellar tendonitis cause more harm, or is there a way to continue to run whilst in recovery?
Running with patellar tendonitis
Running is entirely possible while suffering from patellar tendonitis, but you have to amend your typical training regime until you’ve completely recovered. At least a few days of rest are recommended for anyone with patella tendonitis – even those with very mild cases will benefit from some rest before continuing to run.
Before you run
Following this, your return to running should be like the tortoise and the hare – slow and steady. Warm-ups are crucial to running whilst injured, and doing so thoroughly will help to prevent any further injury. Pay special attention to stretching your quad; being property warmed up will prevent your quad from pulling on your knee unnecessarily and reduce the strain placed on the knee joint.
During your run
There are several things you can do during your runs to ensure you’re patella tendonitis isn’t exacerbated. One is to significantly reduce the intensity of your workouts. Remember: you’re injured, so going in at 100% is only going to make things worse. Even if the pain is minimal, if you’ve only just developed patella tendonitis, failing to heed the warning signs (i.e. pain) can cause more problems.
Secondly, your running posture should be addressed. Focus on standing taller – this will prevent you from overstriding, which is essentially where your front foot lands too far ahead of you, placing excessive pressure on your knees. It’s hard to tell if you’re overstriding without an expert’s examination, but by focussing on running more upright will naturally help to reduce your overstriding (if you are prone to doing so in the first place).
Purchasing some running aids can also be of huge benefit as you continue to exercise whilst in recovery. Patellar bands, so-called because they are placed around the bottom of the knee, are designed to relieve pain by applying pressure during a workout. They won’t solve the underlying issue but can help to prevent the symptoms from developing.
Orthotics are also highly recommended for runners with patella tendonitis. In fact, our very own Enertor sports insoles are proven to prevent patella tendonitis and alleviate pain in those currently suffering from it. Our D3O technology helps to absorb much of the impact with each step. They also help to properly align your feet and ankles, protecting joints from undue pressure and impact due to poor form and muscular-skeletal imbalances.
After your run
The care you take after running is also very important. Following a run or workout of any kind, apply ice to the affected area for a few minutes and ensure you take adequate rest. Any patella pain you may have experienced whilst running should subside drastically in the 24 hours after a workout. If the pain persists, then you should stop running for a while and seek medical attention. Further, if your symptoms worsen or do not subside at all during your recovery time, then reduce or stop running until you’ve spoken to a doctor. You may be making things worse by continuing to run.
If you’re suffering from patellar tendonitis or any other running-related injury, then be sure you check out our sports insoles. They’re designed for athletes of all levels and are the only insoles to be recommended by the British Armed Forces, who reported a fall in lower limb injuries by 66% thanks to our products. Protect yourself from injury and change the way you run for the better today. If you have any questions about our insoles
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