Do knee straps work for chondromalacia and tendonitis?
April 2, 2012 12:30 PM   Subscribe

Do knee straps work for chondromalacia and tendonitis? If so, how? Or is there something else I should check out? Deets inside.

I've been an athlete/intense exerciser for most of my life (I'm 25), and have had my fair share of joint issues, mostly ankle (surgery seems to have corrected that, at least temporarily) and knee. Recently, my knee pain - chondromalacia and tendonitis - has been particularly pronounced in both knees. I do interval training 2-3 times a week (including several different jumping exercises), run, bike, or jump rope 2-3 other days, and take at least one day of rest. I often notice basketball players wearing knee straps like these and wonder if they'll help with the pain? If so, how do they work? I'm currently relying on copious amounts of Bengay and Ibuprofen, especially before and after my workouts. Is there anything else I can look into? Taking several weeks off is not really an option.
posted by eenagy to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I have chondromalacia. Knee straps do help, temporarily. I don't know how, but I had always noticed that pushing below my kneecaps had always helped. Physical therapy was amazing. I was also prescribed lots of NSAIDs for short periods of time (4 aleve/day for 3 weeks fixes it for 6 months to a year). But really, go to a good physical therapist (one that does active stuff, not just stretching and ultrasounds and stuff like that).
posted by brainmouse at 12:36 PM on April 2, 2012

I had to get physical therapy for chondromalacia. That was three years ago. I'm also very active, and I have to keep up with the PT exercises (including using a stiff foam roller) in order not to suffer knee pain.
posted by smich at 12:40 PM on April 2, 2012

Response by poster: I did do a lot of physical therapy when it initially hit, and have been trying to do some of the exercises I remember. I used up my covered physical therapy visits after ankle surgery, so I'd have to pay full price. Bleh. If you have any specific stretching recommendations, I'm happy to hear 'em :). Thanks, all.
posted by eenagy at 12:47 PM on April 2, 2012

Best answer: A couple of friends of mine (long-distance runners) use similar strapping to the one you linked for tendinitis. I use one like this for ITB Syndrome and have completed hikes of up to 96km with no pain (other than what would be expected) in my 'bad knee'. So, I would say the straps work, but keep in mind that they only really treat the symptoms. If you are having this sort of issue at 25, you are in for a future of either chronic pain or inactivity (or both) unless you do something to treat the underlying causes. Try cutting out or down the 'jumping exercises', as I've found they are a great shortcut if you want to aggravate knee pain even more. Substitute with something that has lower impacts.
posted by dg at 3:48 PM on April 2, 2012

I've used KT tape for joint issues before to support an ankle with a ruptured ligament while it healed. It's actually been pretty great with a number of joint and mobility issues.
posted by bookdragoness at 5:01 PM on April 2, 2012

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