If you’re feeling pain in the front of your knee and you have been involved in activities that involve constant running, squatting or kicking, you may have developed quadriceps tendinitis. If these symptoms don’t go away with rest, speak to your doctor. Once she confirms your diagnosis, you can treat this condition using a foam roller.
Symptoms of Quadriceps Tendinitis
Quadriceps tendinitis can occur after repetitive or prolonged activities that place strain on the quadriceps tendon. Symptoms include a gradual pain at the front of your knee just above the knee cap and tenderness when you touch your tendon. As the condition progresses, you’ll find it harder to run or even walk without a limp. These symptoms are a result of tissue damage and inflammation in your quadriceps tendon.
Foam rollers are available at exercise specialty stores and online. They look like a tube of hard foam and come in several thicknesses, with the thicker rollers being the most versatile. The harder the foam, the more effective it will be. When you roll your muscle over these rollers, it helps to release the tension, break down knots and repair tissue damage. Using a roller also increases blood flow and circulation to the muscle, which will improve your physical performance.
Quadriceps Tendinitis Exercise
Lie face-down on the floor and place the roller under your quads or upper thighs. Use your arms to move you forward and back so that your entire quad muscle rolls over the roller. To increase the pressure, lift one leg off the roller. While this is the main exercise you can use for your quadriceps, it is also beneficial to use the foam roller to stretch out your IT band, which may also be tight and contributing to your injury. To perform this exercise, lie sideways on the ground with the foam roller under your thigh. Use your hands to move back and forth so that the side of your thigh rolls over the roller.
How to Use a Roller
Perform foam roller exercises as both a warmup and as part of your post-workout stretch. When you use a roller, roll on the actual injured muscle as opposed to just rolling near the area. While this can be painful because your muscle is sensitive, it will give you the best results. Roll back and forth over the area and continue to roll until you feel the pain decrease by at least 50 percent or for at least 30 to 60 seconds. Perform these exercises daily.
- The Injured Knee: Quadriceps Tendinitis
- Roll Release Foam Roller Techniques: Muscles of the Spine & Lower Extremity; Dr. Ryan Emmons
- American Council on Exercise: Tissue Density / Myofascial Release Exercises
Andrea Chrysanthou began writing professionally in 1993. Her work has been published internationally by "The Cyprus Mail," MochaSofa and My Favorite Trainer, among other magazines and websites. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts in journalism from Ryerson University. Chrysanthou is a certified fitness instructor and personal-training specialist with more than 10 years of experience in the fitness industry.