Potentially Part Of The Patellar Tendonitis Dynamic
Patellar Bursitis can be incredibly painful and take a long time to 'heal'.
If your patella tendon hurts, you probably don't have patella bursitis.
But if your knee HURTS on the front by the patella, and I mean HURTS, then you are a more likely candidate for this diagnosis.
Tendonitis pain and Bursitis pain feel VERY different.
And if you have a huge swelling at the front of the knee, that's another big clue.
Patellar Bursitis Anatomy
And What's Going On In There?
The Quad muscles on the front of the thigh turn into tendon and converge in a big strip of connective tissue called the patella tendon.
This thick, tough piece of connective tissue then wraps over the knee and attaches to the lower leg.
IN BETWEEN and encapsulated by the tendon is the Patella (knee cap). Also embedded in the tendon tissue is the Prepatellar Bursa.
The Prepatellar Bursa is designed to reduce friction on the knee cap from bending and such.
If you kneel down on the floor, you are resting on your bursa, which is resting on your patella, when rests on your knee joint/bones.
Pre Patellar Bursitis is commonly called 'housemaid's knee' or 'carpet layer's knee') due to all the kneeling on and compressing of the soft tissue of the bursa.
It's common with athlete's too.
Too much friction, too much irritation and a Process of Inflammation kicks in with a vengeance.
This packs the tissue with pain enhancing chemical, and if there is enough irritation and damage, the bursa can fill with blood, and/or kick in an inflammation response that SWELLS the front of the knee with fluid.
A lot of fluid. It looks bad.
Bursa's DO NOT like to be irritated.
Bursitis is different from Tendonitis only in that bursa inflammation is MUCH more painful and can take MUCH longer for the pain to go away.
What do do about it
The majority of doctors and internet sources tell you to:
NSAIDS and Corticosteroid injections
Seems a bit vague, no?
Fine Points of Rest:
Rest isn't the key factor. It's irritation.
You certainly should stop the irritation to the bursa. Tendonitis you can generally continue to use and push the edges a little.
Not so with bursitis.
STOP ALL IRRITATION OF THE BURSA! Consider that it has a VERY SENSITIVE hair trigger. Don't set it off.
Avoid irritation until the hypersensitivy dials down. And then avoid irritation longer. It will trick you into thinking it's fine, you won't hurt, you'll get back to the activity, and then BAM, it'll hurt and swell again.
Pay attention and outsmart it.
Fine Points On Icing
Learn How To Reduce Inflammation.
HINT - Ice massage carefully.
Fine Points On NSAIDS and Corticosteroid Injections:
In the case of Patella Bursitis, NSAIDS at best are going to dull the pain temporarily. Which is not a bad thing. But do not expect taking a lot of Ibuprofen to 'heal' your inflammation dynamic.
In the case of Corticosteroid Injections, I generally give these a thumbs down for a variety of reasons.
However, it's worth a shot (no pun intended). If you can knock out the pain sensation -and- ice and other self care, the shot MAY give you the edge necessary to 'heal' fast so that the inflammatory response won't overwhelm you and continue to keep things painful and unhappy.
Pre Patellar Bursitis
Avoid it in the first place
Before you have full blown pre patellar bursitis, or when it is FIRST starting to hurt, use these helpful tips:
1. Stay off your knees. Use knee pads. Vary the kneeling position so all your weight isn't right on the knee caps and bursa.
2. If you are an athlete, running, jumping, etc, make sure that your structure is balanced, meaning, avoid Patella Femoral Syndrome.
Maybe your bursitis is from irritation due to Patella Femoral Syndrome, which can be a patella tracking disorder. Follow the link below to get the ebook you need to avoid Patellar Tendonitis and potentially pre patellar bursitis too.
Bart's hip and quad balancing ebook. Bart's the man to talk to about structural muscle balance.
Once/if your patella bursitis gets past a certain point and you do start to have acute pain and/or swelling, then you need to AVOID further irritation and invest some time and effort into frequent and repetitive icing and ice massaging.
Pre Patellar Tendonitis is ALL about irritation and inflammation.Reduce the irritation, and knock out the inflammation, and then you can start to look at how to reinjure your patellar tendon and patellar bursa in the future.
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