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Injuries Chronic & Acute

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Old 05-04-2006, 04:21 PM   #1
Chris Gondos
Member Chris Gondos is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Toronto  Ontario
Posts: 15
I've recently been diagnosed with patellar tendintis in both knees caused by tight quad muscles coupled with impact injuries from submission wretling/BJJ. Despite stretching 3 times daily and using heat packs, epsom salt baths, massage and an ART (active release technique) treatment my quads are still very tight (feels like cables in there). I'm not supposed to do any lower body exercise for at least a month to prevent further tightening.
I'm running out of ideas. I'm going crazy not being able to train like i used to when i was healthy.

Any advise is appreciated.

For anyone interested in a detailed backstory of the injury:

For the past 3 months I've been suffering from pain just below my kneecap (both knees). The pain varies day to day, some days no pain other days lots. The initial injury took place during a BJJ training session a few days before a competitiion. Needless to say I was training very hard (without any knee pads). The next day I knew something was wrong because I was unable to kneel on my left knee at all (felt like i was cut inder the skin), my right knee wasn't as bad but not good either. I took the next few days off completely by decided to compete anyway. After the tournament I was surprised that the pain didn't get any worse. I iced and didn't train intensly for a while, but still did bodyweight squats, pushups, pullups and all that junk. The pain went from very bad to bearable and stayed that way. For weeks it didn't get much better or much worse. I tried going back to BJJ class but after 45 mins the pain came back (even with the kneepads)and I stopped. I got an X-ray done by my family doctor and she couldn't find anything wrong with me. Then I went to a "sports clinic" at the hospital and the guy said it was tendinitis. He told me to avoid deep squats, jumping, skipping and kneeling and said the problem would go away. Well, after another 3-4 weeks nothing had changed. By this point it has been 2 months since Ive been able to practice any BJJ/MMA and have been surviving purely on upper body work. Finally I went to a new ART (active release technique) place at my gym for a free evaluation. The guy seemed to know his stuff. Diagnosis: patellar tendinits caused by tight quad muscles. He explained to me that my quads were so tight that they were constantly pulling my kneecap upward placing stress on the patellar tendon making it easy to damage and hard to heal. He advised me to: use ice massage when i felt my knees or quads were swelling/heating up, stretch quads 3 times daily, and to use heat therapy + massage + stretching after the inflammation had gone away (3-4 days). After a few days my knees got a whole lot better but despite all the stretching I was/am doing my quads are still very tight (it feels like Ive got cables in there). I can't afford an ART treatment every week and I'm not supposed to do and lower body work for a month.
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Old 05-04-2006, 05:32 PM   #2
Elliot Royce
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Inowa  KS
Posts: 922
My insurance covers the ART because it's administered by a chiropractor. Check out whether that would work for you. You can also use foam rollers each day and pause over the sore spots.

If I'm anything to go by, it will take time to get results.
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Old 05-05-2006, 01:14 AM   #3
Christian Lemburg
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Aachen  NRW
Posts: 308

learn to massage your quads yourself, daily, several times. Best done with elbows of same side arm when sitting. Let the ART practitioner show you how to massage in that position - short, slow strokes, one direction, lots of pressure. Nothing like a short massage for a cramped muscle.

Good luck, and fast recovery,

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Old 05-09-2006, 11:23 AM   #4
Brian McCarrie
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Colorado Springs  Colorado
Posts: 115
I've had petellar tendonitis. It's not something to be taken lightly. If you continue to put strain on that tendon, you could rupture it.

I went to an orthepdic surgeon after I did a bunch of research on the web. He said what do you think you have? I said Petellar tendonitis, he siad you're right and he prescribed some physical therapy.

The therapy consisted of this big guy stretching the heck out of my leg as well as some strengthening exercises.

The first thing you have to do is stretch out your quads. This stretch I'm about to describe is painful for a person with tight quads but it pays off big time.

Lay down on your stomach on the side of your bed with one foot on the floor and the leg you want to stretch on the bed. Move the foot on the floor up as far as it will go. Then reach back to the leg on the bed, bend your knee, grab your foot and stretch the heck out of that quad. Your goal is to touch your butt with your foot. I held that stretch for 30 seconds then I did the other leg. I did this stretch every single night before I went to bed. If you can't reach your leg, I couldn't at first, get some one to help you do the stretch.

After doing this stretch for a while, I started doing wall sits to strengthen the quad. Basically lean your back against a wall and slide down like yoiu're sitting in a chair. Knee bent at 90 degrees and hold for a minute or so. Do sets of this. Work your way up to 2 minutes.

Hopefully this helps, it worked for me. Also, give it some time. Tendonitis takes a while to get better.

Oh, one more thing, I got a tendon strap to support the tendon. Here's the strap that I have:

good luck.
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Old 05-09-2006, 04:11 PM   #5
James Taft
Departed James Taft is offline
Join Date: Jan 1970
Posts: 119
Chris. I do BJJ and I started to get a similar knee pain except mine is at the top of the patella. It feels like a tenderness at the top point of the patella. After doing BJJ for a little bit it will become extremely tender. I started wearing a knee pad and it still was irritating me. I would ice it and take mobic (NSAID) every day. Based on the x-ray and doctor's diagnosis I have patella femoral syndrome. I stretch the heck out of it everyday (3-4 times a day) and have severely limited my strength training and BJJ.

Anybody have similar symptoms? What did you do to get back to pain free living. Do I need to stop working my legs? This sucks.

I have swtiched from CrossFit to light kettlebell workouts with cycling. I think I am going to add swimming as an alternate to mix it up? Any body got suggestions. I don't want to add to the problem.

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Old 05-09-2006, 08:52 PM   #6
Eric Godfrey
Posts: n/a
I suffered from such severe tendonitis that it was misdiagnosed for a more severe injury. I messed up mine from walking up and down the Mountains of Fort Huachuca with an 80-lb boulder on my shoulder, BJJ, and too much squatting and deadlifting. I was prescribed the same stretching and strengthening routine. It didn’t work at all.

I hobbled around for 6 months until a friend recommended me to a physical therapist. The physical therapist taught me about an “Aggressive Ice Massage”, where you freeze a Styrofoam cup of water, or a bottle of water, and then aggressively massage the tendon using an increased amount of force. I froze a bottle, rubbed the life out of my patellas and… The next day I was 90% cured. I was soon able to run again, and today I have ZERO patellar tendon pain. I also still use the technique when ever I feel any knee pain, and so far my run times are finally getting back to pre-injury stage.


My tendon problems were also very high on the patella. The agressive Ice worked magic. I'm not a doctor and I don't know if rubbing hard on an injured tendon with ice has any draw backs, but I swear by it.


(Message edited by eric_g on May 09, 2006)

(Message edited by eric_g on May 09, 2006)

(Message edited by eric_g on May 09, 2006)
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