Basketball season is in full swing! If you play in a club or have a child who is playing in school, there is the risk of developing Jumper’s Knee. Here is how it happens and ways you can avoid it.
What is Jumper’s Knee?
Jumper’s Knee is a very common condition among athletes, especially those in jump sports like basketball and volleyball. In the medical world, it is also called Patellar Tendonitis. The patella tendon connects the kneecap to the shinbone and when repeatedly stressed, it can become inflamed. Jumper’s Knee isn’t a condition that appears overnight. It gradually develops with repeated stress and if not careful, tiny tears in the tissue occur.
How to Avoid it
Strengthen the Quadriceps
Having strong quadriceps and even glutes can assist in taking the pressure off of the knees. This forms a kind of protective barrier around the knee and distributes the pressure. You can do certain exercises to strengthen it or see a PT about what exercises your child can do to offset their extensive jumps.
Don’t Take One for the Team
As with all of your health, if something is hurting, don’t strain it. If your child is having pain, they should not keep pushing through the game or a practice in order to satisfy their teammates. This can lead to a more severe tear that can put them on the bench for a while until recovered.
It isn’t actually the jumping, but the landing that can hurt the knee. So, you want to be sure that you are landing correctly and have proper techniques for all movements.
Being flexible can decrease your chances of injury. It helps to teach your body the proper way to move and can give you more range of motion. Think of this as a buffer zone for the times when your body’s posture is causing excess stress on the knee.
If you’ve developed Jumper’s Knee, Core PT is here to help! Our experts can create a program for you to get you back in the game in no time.