I recently received a patient that complains of knee pain on the lower part of his knee cap on the front side. He states that he feels pain mostly when performing box jumps and explosive movements. After evaluating his knee and movement patterns we found that he has a knee condition called “Jumper’s Knee”. This is prevalent with explosive athletes (track and field, crossfit, basketball players, volleyball players) because the quadriceps tend to dominate the movement and a chronic tendonitis of the patellar/quadriceps tendon occurs. We helped him out and gave him some exercises but his progress was limited due to the repetitive stress of explosive motions. I paid a visit to one of his workouts to watch him move in a more closely and quickly realized the issue. As he would receive the bar in the snatch or clean, his knee would slightly (by maybe half an inch) glide forward (during the eccentric load of the catching phase of a box jump or olympic lift). This was our answer! We had him perform some olympic lifts with two things in mind: keeping the weight positioned more on his heels (to properly load the hamstrings and glutes), and during the Olympic lifts and box jumps when he would land, he was not to let his knee glide forward. He was to stomp the landing and control the eccentric load.
Now, some of this changes are immediate but some of these changes are long term. Loading the hamstring correctly and having proper strength in the glutes and hamstrings was imperative for this athlete to get out of knee pain for the long run. We also have him some take home work for glute and hamstring strength, adjusted his hips and feet to allow proper dorsiflexion (to take the extra flexion away from the knee), and retrained his intro-abdominal pressure for proper hip mobility and stability.