Do you realize that you’re part of an elite minority? Here’s why.
Others just complain about their problems and stay complacent, but you’re the kind of person that takes action to solve your problems. I like that.
Today, we’ll cover how you can avoid dangerous mistakes that will prevent healing. I discovered them during the years I spent reading academic research and experimenting on myself, like a human-sized lab rat.
Since 2011, the experience I gained helping others get rid of patellar tendonitis confirmed the dangers of these mistakes countless times.
This page contains a lot of condensed expert knowledge. To put things into perspective, professionals that share these insights charge upwards of $150 per hour, because this kind of knowledge used to be available to elite movement coaches only and it’s worth Millions to professional athletes.
You need to know this if you want to get rid of patellar tendonitis permanently.
Mistake 1: Doing too much
Patellar tendonitis occurs when the patellar tendon is overused repeatedly. This overuse interrupts the tendon’s attempt to grow stronger in response to training (failed adaptation) and with continued overuse, the tendon degenerates.
Doing too much during the recovery phase is one major reason why patellar tendonitis keeps getting worse, because this interrupts the tendon’s adaptation yet again. The most common causes are continuing your regular training during rehab and using a patellar tendon strap.
Scientific research already confirmed that you cannot recover from patellar tendonitis if you continue your regular training1 and my own experience confirms this. Many people still try to train through it, in spite of the research and my numerous warnings, thereby causing more tendon damage and adding months to their recovery time.
Some find pain relief through a patellar tendon strap and then assume that everything is fine, when in fact, the patellar tendon strap can worsen your patellar tendonitis by causing even more overuse (l explain why in the linked video).
Ultimately, the only way to beat patellar tendonitis is to make healing your only training goal. You need to commit to this goal 100%. Do everything that may bring you closer to your goal. Avoid anything that may pull you away from it (like continuing overuse through running and jumping).
Mistake 2: Resting
Oh the irony!
Doing too much will prevent healing, but so will doing too little by resting. Resting will reduce the pain, but it will not get your tendon back to 100% because without adequate training, the tendon will not grow stronger again.
Resting too much will actually weaken the tendon2. This will leave you with a degenerated tendon that’s much too weak for sports and as soon as you return to your favorite sport, pain comes back.
To recover from patellar tendonitis, you need to strengthen your patellar tendon safely. I’ll show you how to do this in tomorrow’s email, but for those exercises to work, you need to be aware of the mistakes I’m sharing with you today.
Mistake 3: Using anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen
Did you take anti-inflammatories for your patellar tendonitis? Bad news: you may have made things worse!
According to Australian researcher Dr. Jill Cook, using non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen can be a treatment option in the early stages of tendonitis, but it slows tendon repair once your injury has become chronic3.
To learn more about the dangers of ibuprofen, watch this video:
Talk to your doctor about treating your patellar tendonitis without NSAIDs like ibuprofen and be sure to never ever train hard while taking anti-inflammatories, as that can easily cause tendonitis.
Mistake 4: Blaming your knees
If the knee hurts, the natural human tendency is to assume the knee is not working as it should and so we tend to “blame” the knee for the pain. The reality is often much different.
Unless the pain was caused by a fall or contact with another player, the knee hurts because it had to “work overtime” for other parts of the body that weren’t working as they should. I call these hidden biomechanical causes for knee pain.
When you did the stick massage yesterday, you already worked on one of these hidden biomechanical causes (soft-tissue problems) and chances are you noticed an improvement in your pain. You didn’t even touch the knee with the stick massage and still it helped.
I discovered these hidden biomechanical causes for knee pain through my research and I will show you how to work on them with other exercises in some of the upcoming emails. This is the kind of information professional athletes will pay large amounts of money for, because it’s still limited to an elite circle of experts.
I will help you fix other hidden causes for pain in the emails I will send you in the future. To prevent patellar tendonitis from coming back, you need to fix them.
Mistake 5: Trusting your pain
The last mistake is like curse in disguise. Here’s why.
Once pain is gone, many people return to their sport immediately, which is a big mistake. Academic research showed that in tendonitis, tissue damage occurs before you feel pain4,5. In fact, of tendons so degenerated that they’re close to rupture, two thirds were still pain-free6.
I can’t emphasize enough how important understanding this scientific fact is: being pain-free doesn’t mean your patellar tendon is healthy or strong enough for your sport! You MUST NOT trust your pain.
Instead of returning to your previous level of activity, continue progressing very slowly towards your former performance.
We’ll talk about how you can do this in a future email, but for now, just remember that you cannot trust your pain.
Talk to you tomorrow.
– Martin Koban
- Visnes, Håvard; Bahr, Roald (2007): The evolution of eccentric training as treatment for patellar tendinopathy (jumper’s knee): a critical review of exercise programmes. In Br J Sports Med 41 (4), pp. 217–223. DOI: 10.1136/bjsm.2006.032417.
- Yamamoto, E.; Hayashi, K.; Yamamoto, N. (1999): Mechanical properties of collagen fascicles from stress-shielded patellar tendons in the rabbit. In Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon) 14 (6), pp. 418–425.
- Cook, J. L.; Purdam, C. R. (2009): Is tendon pathology a continuum? A pathology model to explain the clinical presentation of load-induced tendinopathy. In British Journal of Sports Medicine 43 (6), pp. 409–416. DOI: 10.1136/bjsm.2008.051193.
- Huisman, E.; Thornton, G.; Roberts, C.; Scott, A. (2013): IDENTIFICATION OF BIOMARKERS FOR EARLY TENDON DEGENERATION USING AN IN-VIVO RABBIT MODEL. In British Journal of Sports Medicine 47 (9), pp. e2. DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2013-092459.57.
- Khan, K. M.; Maffulli, N.; Coleman, B. D.; Cook, J. L.; Taunton, J. E. (1998): Patellar tendinopathy: some aspects of basic science and clinical management. In Br J Sports Med 32 (4), pp. 346–355.
- Kannus, P.; Józsa, L. (1991): Histopathological changes preceding spontaneous rupture of a tendon. A controlled study of 891 patients. In J Bone Joint Surg Am 73 (10), pp. 1507–1525.