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How to treat jumper's knee

If you experience knee pain when running or jumping, then you may be suffering from jumper’s knee (also known as patellar tendinitis). On this page, you can find information about the causes and symptoms of jumper’s knee, and what you can do to treat the injury yourself.

Download Injurymap's training program for treating knee pain.


What Is Jumper’s Knee?

Jumper’s knee is a frequent type of injury that most often affects athletes who perform activities involving a lot of jumps or kicks. From the thigh muscle (the quadriceps), a large tendon runs across your kneecap and connects to the kneecap on your shin. It is this tendon (the kneecap tendon, or ligamentum patellae) that becomes irritated and damaged when you suffer from jumper’s knee.

Causes of Jumper's Knee

The function of the thigh muscle and the kneecap tendon is to stretch the knee. Both of these muscles are therefore used extensively for both setting off and landing when jumping and running. The pain felt by those suffering from jumper’s knee is caused by overloading the knee through, for example, repetitious movements that strain the tendon or any kind of increase in activity level that exceeds the tolerance of the tissue in the tendon.

With age, the kneecap becomes more rigid and this can increase the risk of injury. When the kneecap tendon is overloaded, it becomes inflamed - a sterile inflammation that produces swelling and soreness in the tendon.

Symptoms of Jumper's knee

Symptoms of jumper’s knee typically consist of pain in the bottom tip of the kneecap that arises at the start and end of physical activity. The pain usually subsides as the knee warms up. Some people will experience pain from performing everyday activities like walking up and down stairs.

It is important to take these symptoms seriously. If they are ignored and the kneecap tendon continues to be overloaded, the injury will become worse.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Jumper's Knee


Jumper’s knee is caused by overloading the knee. The first thing you can do to treat your injury is to avoid performing any activity that triggers pain. Typically, such activities will include jumping, kicking and running. By relieving your knee, you let your body get to work on healing the muscle and tendon damage.


In addition to pain relief, it is important that you rehabilitate. If you suffer from jumper’s knee and you would like to return to performing the activities that triggered your injury (e.g. sports), then there is no way around the need to perform your rehabilitation exercises.

Use the Injurymap screening tool to find out if you are ready to treat your knee pain with rehabilitative exercises.

Rehabilitating jumper’s knee means placing special emphasis on slow and heavy strength-building exercises, as well as exercises that stretch the thigh muscles. However, it is important that you do not increase the load around your kneecap tendon too quickly. Additional mobility and flexibility exercises should be performed to create the optimal conditions for the kneecap to work in and help prevent future injuries.

In the examples below, you can see some of the most common exercises used to treat jumper’s knee.

Start your training today

It is important to relieve your knee pain immediately and start with some gentle recovery exercises. We recommend Injurymap's rehabilitation program for treating jumper's knee. Injurymap offers you a complete treatment course that you can start right away.

Examples of good exercises and stretches for Jumper's knee:

Injurymap divides your rehabilitation plan into 3 phases

Phase 1

The exercises in Phase 1 will pay special attention to your jumper's knee. It is important to keep your knee a...
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Phase 2

The exercises in Phase 2 will help you strengthen your balance and stability around your knee. Focus During ...
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Phase 3

The exercises in Phase 3 will help you get back to normal bodily functioning by training your knees' strength ...
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Info about rehabilitation and pain

Why exercising helps reduce your pain

The human body is built for movement. If you don't use your body, your muscles and joints will become weaker a...
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How to exercise when you are in pain

Exercise treatment has been shown to be very effective for long-term recovery and pain reduction. Stimulating ...
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The structure of your exercise plan

When we structure your training plan, the damage sustained to your tissue is taken into account, as the exerci...
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Why it hurts

Pain in the musculoskeletal system (muscles, tendons, joints) may be due to many things, but the most frequent...
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