Pain at the front of the knee and just above the kneecap may be a sign that you have quadriceps tendonitis. Quads tendonitis, or tendinopathy, may be the result of repetitive jumping activities such as basketball or hopping, as well as running and skipping. Rest from aggravating activities is necessary to allow healing of any tissue damage as well as to decrease pain. A progressive strengthening and stretching program can help the recovery process, as well as help prevent future injury risks.
A static quads contraction is a good beginning exercise for quads tendonitis rehab. Since you are not in a weight-bearing position, there is less risk of experiencing pain or aggravating the knee joint at this stage. Do this exercise by lying or half-sitting on a mat on the floor with legs stretched out in front of you. Place a rolled-up towel underneath your knee. Contract your thigh muscle such that the back of your knee pushes into the towel. Hold for approximately three seconds. Release and repeat 10 times for a total of three sets.
Straight Leg Raise
The straight leg raise exercise strengthens the quadriceps muscle on the front of the thigh. Do this exercise by lying on your back on a mat. Lift your leg up into the air approximately 5 to 10 inches and hold for five seconds. Return to start and repeat 10 to 12 times for a total of three sets. Use caution to avoid twisting the knee during this exercise, as this can aggravate the joint and/or inflamed structures.
Stretching the quadriceps muscle will help release tight structures and increase flexibility. Stretch the front of the thigh by standing up tall with abdominals engaged. Bend your affected leg up and grab your ankle with the hand on the same side of the body. Lift your ankle up toward your buttocks until you feel a stretch on the front of the thigh. Hold for approximately 20 to 30 seconds and repeat two to three times. Avoid bending forward at the waist during this exercise, which will take the emphasis of the stretch off the quad muscles.
Exercises for quadriceps tendonitis should be performed pain-free. If you are experiencing pain or an increase in pain, you may need to back off exercises or rest more. Consult with a physiotherapist who can advise you on how to treat your injury. Furthermore, your exercise program should consist of core-, gluteal- and hip-strengthening exercises to strengthen surrounding and supporting muscles and prevent muscular imbalances.