Wearing patella brace and tape helps jumpers knee

Nov 04, 2014

Athletes who wear a patella strap or sports tape experience a reduction in pain when suffering from jumpers knee. This is particularly true when heavy demands are put on the knee, such as when jumping and squatting. This has been revealed from research by sports doctors and sports scientists at the Sports Medicine Centre at the University Medical Centre in Groningen. These are the first results anywhere in the world that show that these devices actually help relieve jumpers knee.

Jumpers knee is a chronic injury and normally occurs due to too much strain being put on the knee tendon. It is a common injury in athletes who do a lot of jumping, such as volleyball, handball and basketball players; this is where the name comes from. Approximately ten percent of all basketball, volleyball and handball players suffer from this injury. This figure rises to more than thirty percent in top flight players.

During the research athletes with jumpers knee were asked to carry out three functional tests, and were asked to say how much pain they felt. The athletes alternated wearing a Push med patella brace (patella strap), sports tape, placebo-tape or nothing at all. After this the athletes wore a patella strap or sports tape for a week during their normal sporting activity, which allowed the researchers to be able to comment  on any effects if any sporting activity was actually carried out. Both parts of the research showed that the patella strap and sports tape resulted in reduced pain.

The researchers at the Sports Medicine Centre of the UMCG drew the conclusion that the patella strap was more effective than the sports tape. This could be due to the strap being slightly easier to put on than the tape. The researchers found results varied a lot between the athletes who took part in the study.

More than one hundred athletes who suffered pain from jumpers knee took part in this research programme. The research data was collected in Groningen, Zwolle, Utrecht and Arnhem. The results of this research will be presented to the Dutch Volleyball Association and the Dutch Basketball Association.