Patellar Tendinopathy

Feb 04, 2020

Have you recently started a new training plan and are noticing some pain at the front of your knee? Does your pain increase when you load the knee? If so, you may have patellar tendinopathy, a condition that occurs due to overload of the patellar tendon.

The patellar tendon runs from the kneecap to a small prominence on the shin. It’s main role is to transfer the force of the quadriceps as the knees bend and straighten, and endures the greatest load during jumping and landing.


Our tendons have a certain strength or ‘load capacity’. With the application of acceptable load, our tendons will stiffen and ultimately become stronger. If we overload our tendons, and/or do not allow adequate recovery time, then a reactive process can occur, causing it to become painful and swollen.

You might notice the following symptoms:
-        Localized pain below the kneecap
-        Minimal to no pain at rest
-        Increases in pain proportional to amount of load

But there is good news! This reactive process can be reversed if training load is reduced and proper treatment occurs.

The best treatment for any tendon pain is exercise, as rest will only decrease the load tolerance of your tendon!  A stronger tendon will be able to tolerate more load, ultimately reducing the likelihood of injury. A physiotherapist can you modify your training to allow the healing process to occur, without having to stop altogether.

Shockwave therapy has also been found to be effective for patellar tendinopathy and is offered by a number of our therapists at our Servus Place clinic. Read more about shockwave therapy here on Taylor Lashyn's post.

To book in for an appointment, call 780-458-8505 or visit the online booking tab on our website.


  • Osgood-Schlatter Disease (2015). Retrieved from:
  • Horschig, A. (2018, January 4). Fixing Patellar and Quad Pain. Squat University.
  • Cook JL, Rio E, Purdam CR, Docking SI. Revisiting the continuum model of tendon pathology: what is its merit in clinical practice and research? Br J Sports Med. 2016; 50(19):1187-1191


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