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Shake Off Jumper’s Knee with Increased Strength and Improved Flexibility

Do you experience knee pain when you return to the basketball court after a layoff of a few months? If your knee always aches—even if you cannot remember incurring a specific injury—you may be suffering from jumper’s knee (formally known as patellar tendinopathy). This progressive deterioration is especially common among adult male basketball and volleyball players.
In the knee, the quadriceps tendon attaches the heavy quadriceps muscle on the front of the thigh to the top of the kneecap (patella), and the patellar tendon attaches the bottom of the kneecap to the shin bone (tibia). Repetitive stress overload on these tendons during jumping and especially on landing causes repeated microtears and collagen degradation in the tendon, resulting in gradual, aching knee pain.
Athletes with low strength, and poor hamstring and quadriceps flexibility are most likely to develop jumper’s knee. Overtraining, excessive playing on hard surfaces, and individual jumping and landing technique can worsen the problem.
For a definitive diagnosis, see a physician who specializes in sports medicine. If the doctor determines that you suffer from jumper’s knee, we can develop an exercise program to progressively improve the flexibility and strength of your hamstrings and quadriceps.
Eccentric exercise (when the muscle lengthens in response to external resistance) can especially benefit individuals with jumper’s knee by speeding up the rehabilitation of weak or injured tendons.  Importantly, this strengthening and stretching process takes time (10 to 12 weeks) to reach ultimate improvement.

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
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