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What is quadriceps tendinopathy?

Quadriceps tendinopathy is inflammation of the tendon of the large muscle on the front of the thigh (quadriceps) just before it attaches to the kneecap (patella). Physiotherapy is an important treatment of quadriceps tendinopathy.

How does quadriceps tendinopathy happen?

Quadriceps tendinopathy is caused by overuse of the quadriceps muscles. Repetitive use of the quadriceps muscles and, therefore, the quadriceps tendon can lead to microscopic tears within the tendon. The body reacts by starting an inflammatory response. The inflammation within the tendon is tendinopathy.

Therapist performing knee assessmentAbove: Therapist performing knee assessment

What are the symptoms of quadriceps tendinopathy?

Quadriceps tendinopathy causes a gradual onset of pain just above the kneecap. Pain is often worsened following activities such as jumping, hopping and bounding. You may also experience stiffness or tightness in the quadriceps muscles and the kneecap. These initial symptoms are often ignored as they disappear quickly with walking or the application of heat.

As you continue to exercise, the tendinopathy is likely to begin to be present for longer periods, until it is severe and present all of the time. Other symptoms may include:

What should I do if I have quadriceps tendinopathy?

If you have quadriceps tendinopathy you should arrange a physiotherapy appointment as it generally does not get better on its own. In the meantime you can begin icing the area just above the kneecap for 15–20 minutes every 1–2 hours with a bag of frozen peas or crushed ice wrapped in a damp cloth.

What shouldn’t I do if I have quadriceps tendinopathy?

If you have or suspect that you have quadriceps tendinopathy you should not ignore your problem. Continuing to exercise can lead to your injury getting worse, prolonging your recovery.

Knee stability exercises supervised by specialist MSK physiotherapistAbove: Knee stability exercises supervised by specialist MSK physiotherapist

Physiotherapy treatment for quadriceps tendinopathy.

The assistance of a physiotherapist is important in the treatment of quadriceps tendinopathy. Initially, you physiotherapist can assist in diagnosing the problem and its severity. Following the assessment, your physiotherapist will be able to determine a treatment plan specifically for you. The chosen treatment modalities may include:

Could there be any long-term effects from quadriceps tendinopathy?

When correctly diagnosed and treated, quadriceps tendinopathy does not produce any long-term effects. Without treatment you may experience prolonged pain in the region just above the kneecap and a prolonged lay-off from exercise and sport.

To arrange a physiotherapy appointment call on 0330 088 7800 or book online.

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