You probably have tendinitis. Majority of individuals who do sports or participate in fitness activities have an increased chance of experiencing tendinitis at some point in their life. The result—severe pain in the affected knee.
What Exactly Is Tendinitis?
Tendinitis occurs when the tendon gets inflamed. The tendon is an elastic band of tissue responsible for connecting your bones to your muscles. The muscles’ pull is sent to your bones by your tendons, allowing for smooth and flexible movement. But when you have inflamed tendons, the muscles’ pulling action will be impaired and lead to pain when moving. Your knee area contains a couple of huge tendons, and when they get inflamed, this is known as knee tendinitis.
Common Tendinitis Red Flags
Pain when moving the knee is the number one symptom of tendinitis, such that even a slight move could lead to severe pain. This pain worsens when climbing up and down the stairs, walking fast and running. Your knee will also be swollen. A top risk factor for developing tendinitis is overuse.
For example, when you repeatedly stretch your tendon by performing the same exercise over an extended period, like running in your favorite trail, there is an increased risk that your tendon could become inflamed and strained. It is for this reason that runners are prone to developing tendinitis. Left unaddressed, this could also develop into what orthopedic doctors and specialists in Provo call “runner’s knee,” which occurs due to sudden stress or overuse—like landing awkwardly or heavily—of the patellar tendon.
Another risk factor is being older or middle-aged because your tendons will naturally be more susceptible to strain and stress, as aging makes your tendons more brittle.
How to Treat Tendinitis
In most cases, you can treat tendinitis on your own. Follow these treatment recommendations to ease your pain:
- Rest it. Avoid activities that could further exacerbate your pain. The more you use your tendon, such as when jumping or running, the worse your symptoms and the longer your recovery will be.
- Ice it. Icing your affected knee for at least 15 minutes daily will help reduce inflammation and knee pain, and make healing faster.
- Elevate it. When laying down or resting back, elevate your affected knee by putting a pillow under it so that it will be placed above your heart to help reduce swelling and promote proper blood flow.
- Compress it. Wrap your knee in a bandage to aid in alleviating your pain and reducing swelling.
- Take OTC pain medications. Particularly non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs like naproxen and ibuprofen to ease your pain and combat inflammation.
- Ease your way back into your typical physical activities. Once your tendinitis symptoms disappear, refrain from immediately going back to running or working out to avoid developing knee pain again.
Most importantly, recovery will take a lot of patience. But with proper treatment, you will begin to feel significant relief in approximately three weeks or so. Do note though that complete recovery could take about six weeks. So, take it easy and do not rush your healing. But if self-treatment does not work, have your knee checked out to determine if something else might be causing your knee pain.