Patellar tendinopathy is a chronic tendon injury, that affects as a many as 45% of elite athletes in jumping sports. It has also been shown that 58% of the patients with patellar tendinopathy encounter problems with participation in physically demanding work.
Eccentric exercise therapy (EET) is backed up well in research studies for patellar tendinopathy, and is also recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
A group of athletes with chronic ultrasound diagnosed patellar tendinopathy, underwent either progressive tendon-loading exercise therapy (PTLE) or eccentric exercise therapy. After a 24 week training period, the PTLE was superior in clinical outcomes. It is recommended a PTLE programme with additional exercises, as well as considering risk factors, load management and patient education, is important to improve the outcome of patients with patellar tendinopathy.
Those undergoing PTLE also reported a higher return to sport rate, as well as less pain when performing the exercises. There was also a high satisfaction level from patients when compared to the EET group. PTLE should be regarded as standard initial care for the treatment of patients with patellar tendinopathy.