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Living with Patella tendonitis
Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:42 am bladest1
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So my off season is going well my goals are beginning to seem closer and fate deals me a cruel blow....

Its a Saturday run session with my triathlon club on a running track local to me and the winter training schedule of run long but slow is well and truly in my mindset, concentrate on your form and don't run to fast... and then it happens, a burning feeling in my right knee followed by shooting pains from my hip and outer knee joint.




Why me, why now, this year was going to be perfect.... and I suppose thats it really isn't it! We never visualise getting injured or being unable to train and in fact we spend so long thinking and visualising the exact opposite. The first part of getting over any injury and on the road to recovery is being able to detach from this "normal" mindset and adopt another one. It is only at that point will you focus on the important but boring procedures of getting fit again, the stretching, the physio, the nutrition changes... It is not until these thoughts become your goals that you can ensure no other damage is done.

For example, last year I suffered with IT band issues and although I had identified the problem and I had began a sort of recovery, the need and the desire and the focus on training had still not gone away. So light training, taking it easy! was never going to happen and the longevity of the symptoms were almost certainly prolonged.

So what is Patella tendonitis?

Well by the very nature of the ...itits bit on the end it is an inflammation meaning something has been angered! usually through another injury changing you biomechanics or from an over use of a particular movement or impact, running, cycling are to blame in my case!

So what is the solution to Patella tendonitis?

Rest- Well your probably not going to be shocked by this but rest is the primary and indeed only solution! What comes with rest is some ways in which you can encourage recovery to happen in a more timely and efficient manor!

Ice- Every day or indeed evening icing the effected joint will help stimulate blood flow to the area and it is this blood flow that increases the nutrients being carried to the area and therefore increasing the productivity of the healing process

Physio - This is a new one for me... and probably the reason i'm in this mess in the first place, Releasing the muscles that put tension on the tendons and therefore reducing any chance of further damage and stimulating repair, I have found a great physio through my club! I think this is something of preference but make sure you trust the person and they come with some sort of recommendation.
I'm one of those people who wouldn't take my car to a backstreet garage if I could afford a main dealer repair and I think your body is as important if not more! The physio I use also uses Ultra sound technology to help stimulate blood flow to the joint.

Vitimin C - A great way to booster your immune system and encourage collagen production which inturn is the way you repair tendon tissue.

Stretching regularly - Again probably one of the reasons i'm in this mess but stretching has been highlighted to me (the hard way) in being a way to both help repair this injury as well as staving off any other damage both present and int he future. Stretching should include all of the muscles directly above and below the joint! quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes etc... There are so many on youtube theres no point in me going through any here but look them up!

Foam Roller - Some people love them and some people hate them! I am a believer in them as long as the use of them is not prolonged and does not do anything to damage the blood flow to the injured area.

Fact, they definitely release tension in the muscles and connective tissue around the injury, thigh, hamstring, calf, IT band and therefore are good in my book!

Diet- At the point of dispart it would be easy to reach for the chocolate or grasp at the wine, but think of the recovery you are about to undertake, running for the first time on that fresh and improved tissue, all vunrable and new! To be a few kilos lighter would only be of advantage to possibility of a long lasting repair! That also means cutting back on your building nutrition, the extra proteins, carbs and calories you were taking in to keep your fuel stores full!







So what does the future hold for a person suffering from Patella tendonitis?

This is the part of my blog that I believe will be different from others, and that is to say that life should not stop and inactivity should be adopted! Now I am no professional but in comment on my own case I have found that my recovery has not been completely debilitating. Yes it is true that total rest from the movement that has caused the inflation is paramount! however upper body, core training is a great way of keeping you in shape and will actually allow you some time to build on things you probably have been building on already!

For example my plank has gone from 30seconds to almost 2mins 30... My lat pull down and bench pressing has improved and in my case I have been able to swim and my 400m TT time has come down by almost a whole minute.

I know this is a well used quote but by focusing on what you can do, what is in your control and forgetting about what you can't do and is not in your control, you will only remain as focused and not become disillusioned.

Recovered? ...

Probably the most important point about ...itis injuries is to understand that the point in which you felt the pain is a long time after the problem occurred! therefore the run until it hurts is not a good mantra to adopt! Besides if you have had this injury you will know that when your muscles are warm the pain seems to easy and sometimes disappear, therefore recovery runs should be short and slow building in intensity over a long period, pain during or the day after should be telling you your not ready, no pain should be saying you got away with it today and count you lucky stars and don't push it.

Frustrating as this can be it will only make you a better athlete, you will focus on your form more listen to your body more and have a better understanding of what really makes you tick!
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