Lower Limb Tendinopathy (formerly known as “tendinitis”) is a condition that occurs when a tendon has been overworked and begins to react and breakdown.
This process is often accompanied by pain, swelling in the affected region (e.g., Achilles tendon, patellar tendon, etc.), and stiffness. Tendons in the lower limb such the knee, hips, and hamstring are common sites of tendinopathy.
We’re sorry to have to say it, but the “rest and recover” model of treatment does not work when it comes to managing tendons. With a dysfunctional tendon, we need to build up its capacity to withstand the load placed across it. One of the essential treatment approaches to managing this type of condition, is tendon loading. Building the strength across your tendon is essential to getting back to normal and getting you back to full function. It’s simple, it just takes some work.
Below we’ve included a few exercises you can use for tendon loading across various joints in the lower limb:
1) Hamstring Bridge – Hamstring tendinopathy
Lie down with your back flat to the floor and both legs on an elevated platform. Push through one raised ankle to load this tendon, slowly lower your back to the floor. By using one leg we can isolate the tendon ensuring maximum loading. Repeat this exercise, in a slow (1 second up, 1 second down) manner, for 3 sets of 12 reps.
2) Hip Abductor – Glute Med tendinopathy
Lie on a flat surface on your side, slowly raise on leg up and bring it back down with a controlled movement. Repeat this exercise for 3 sets of 10-12 reps.
3) Decline Squat – Patellar tendinopathy
Stand on a sloped surface facing downwards. Ensuring that the foot on the same side as your sore knee is flat and slowly decline into a one-legged squat. Use both legs to stand back up. If you feel this is not difficult enough, you can place a weight in each hand to increase the load across the tendons. Hold the statis squat for up to 30 seconds and repeat 5 times.
4) Calf Raise – Achilles tendinopathy
Stand on a ledge with one foot raised so that your heel over hangs on the edge. Pushing through the ball of your foot, hold this as a static movement for 5 sets of 30 second holds.
More Information About Lower Limb Tendinopathy: Bondi Junction, Eastern Suburbs Sydney Physio Explains
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