Whether it's basketball, volleyball, or even football -- the urge to launch yourself high above your opponent is completely primal.
In fact, vertical jump ability is generally considered to be the single best predictor of an athlete's success. It requires two things: strength (horsepower), and explosiveness (get-up-and-go!).
Only thing is, landing a jump can be rough on your knees.
It's common to land with an impact that's 4 times your body weight. That means, if you weigh 170 pounds, you're smacking the ground with 680 pounds of force -- every time. And a volleyball player may jump hundreds of times in a match. That's a lot of smacking!
Jumper's knee -- also known as patellar tendinosis -- is a repetitive stress injury (RSI) caused by giving your knees more work than they can handle. The patellar tendon (where your thigh muscle attaches, just below your knee) is what keeps your knee from buckling when you land a jump. The repetitive stress of landing causes little pockets of weakness in the tendon, similar to swiss cheese.
Symptoms start slowly. First it may be a dull ache right below the kneecap after running or playing. Then the pain may become sharper, making a squatting motion excrutiatingly painful. Bumping the kneecap or kneeling on a hard surface can be very painful. As the condition progresses, everyday activities like walking down stairs or running become difficult to impossible.
If you don't change what you're doing & get treatment, your patellar tendon can actually rupture.
The good news is, patellar tendinosis is totally treatable. Our goal for these high-flying patients is to get them out of pain & back in the game as quickly as possible -- and we almost always succeed. By the way -- there are no drugs or surgery in this treatment program.
The main thing to remember is: if you think you may have jumper's knee, stop doing things that make your knee hurt. The continual aggravation of an already-weakened tendon can be disastrous. Come see me. You may be surprised how quickly you can get your knees back!
Until next time, live every day of your life!chiropractor-austin-tx