Jumper’s knee, or patellar tendonitis, is a condition that occurs when the large tendon that connects your kneecap to your shin becomes inflamed. As the name suggests, this condition often occurs as a result of repetitive jumping on hard surfaces. Jumper’s knee can result in swelling and deep pain behind your kneecap. Treatment can involve icing and stretching and/or strengthening exercises. Check with your doctor to determine whether these exercises are right for you and warm up with dynamic movements before stretching.
Patellar Mobility Stretch
Sit down with your injured leg extended in front of you. Use the index fingers and thumbs of both hands to apply pressure and move your kneecap down toward your shin. Hold this stretch for about 10 seconds, then relax. Use your hands to pull your kneecap up toward your thigh. Hold this stretch for about 10 seconds. Complete this mobility exercise by moving your kneecap to the right and left sides. Hold each of these stretches for 10 seconds. Continue these exercises for five minutes or as directed by your doctor.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
Stand on your good leg and rest the heel of your injured leg on a low stool or other support that's about 12 to 15 inches high. Keep your elevated knee straight throughout this exercise. Lean forward and bend over at your hips while keeping your leg straight until you feel a pull in the back of your thigh. Keep your back directly over your hips and both shoulders facing forward throughout this exercise. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat three times.
This exercise is designed to stretch the large muscles on the front of your thigh while bending your knee. Stand perpendicular to a wall at about arm’s length, keeping your good leg closest to the wall. Brace yourself by placing your hand on the wall and bend your injured leg until you can grab your foot with your other hand. Pull your heel toward your buttocks until you feel a stretch in the front of your thigh. Hold this stretch for 15 to 30 seconds, and repeat as directed by your doctor. If using your hand to pull your foot toward your buttocks is too intense at first, loop a towel or belt around your ankle and taking both ends of the belt in your hand, gently pull the foot up.
The quadriceps set exercise helps strengthen the muscles on the front of your thigh while simultaneously stretching the extension movement of your knee. Sit on a bed or the floor with your good leg bent and the sole of your foot flat on the floor. Keep your injured leg straight and tighten the muscles on the front of your thigh. Try to press the back of your knee into the bed or the floor. Hold this stretch for five seconds, and repeat three times.If you're sitting on the floor, you can slide a rolled up towel under your injured knee until it is ready to press further into the bed or floor.