Gymna Therapies

Patellar tendonitis (PT), a clinical challenge

Did you know that Shockwave Therapy really works?

Seppe has suffered from PT for months. Different therapies, including eccentric training and PRP (plateletrich plasma) therapy, weren’t working. Finally, they opted to try Radial Shockwave Therapy. And it worked! The pain stopped, he could focus on his training again, and as a result, won a place at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. 

Patellar Tendonitis (PT) ATELLAR 

Patellar tendonitis is a frequently occurring injury among athletes who have to jump a lot, like basketball and volleyball players. This injury occurs among 30-45% of athletes in top-class sports. It occurs among 10-15%1 at a recreational level. PT is a stress injury. An imbalance occurs between the load and the capacity of the knee extensors’ ability to bear this load. In Seppe’s case, the major impact was on the patellar tendon upon landing after each jump, which was the primary cause of the PT. The following factors can also influence the cause of this injury: weight, BMI, waist-to-hip ratio, difference in leg length, height of the foot’s arch, flexibility of the hamstrings and quadriceps, power in the quadriceps and the vertical jump force2. The patellar tendon has a stiff structure, must bear heavy loads, and is connected to the largest muscle group and longest bones in the human body. Moreover, the patellar tendon has little blood flowing through it. This makes a PT injury difficult to treat. Most rehabilitation programmes are based on reducing the weight on the knee and improving the muscletendon function by means of eccentric training. To date, it is a good treatment, but scientific research has not always been able to demonstrate the success. Sometimes, the impact on the tendon is simply too much, like in Seppe’s case. Luckily, time does not stand still and innovations in physiotherapy have provided a solution. For example, for the past 15 years, Shockwave Therapy has been used successfully for chronic tendinitis therapy. Shockwave Therapy’s good results make it a widely accepted and widely used therapy for, among other things, tennis elbow, plantar fasciopathy and patellar tendonitis. The mechanotransduction stimuli during Shockwave Therapy treatments cause neovascularisation, migration and differentiation in the mesenchymal stem cells, which boosts the natural healing process. Various recently published scientific studies on the treatment of PT using Shockwave Therapy have demonstrated positive results (65% - 90%)3 and 4. A combination of Shockwave Therapy and eccentric training provides the best results. It is therefore advisable to include Shockwave Therapy in the patient’s comprehensive treatment plan so that the issues can be treated as effectively as possible.

Lastly, we can state that Shockwave Therapy is a good, non-invasive, safe, effective solution to (chronic) patellar tendonitis, a complication that often poses a challenge in the fields of physiotherapy, orthopaedics or sports medicine. Shockwave Therapy also helped Seppe’s issues, which means that he can once again train at full strength and continue his career in sports.

Are you constantly busy?

Patellar tendonitis is only one of the many indications that can be treated by Shockwave Therapy. Did you know that you can treat trigger points? That muscle pain can also be dealt with using Shockwave Therapy? In short, any number of indications can be treated using Shockwave Therapy. Gymna understands that it’s very busy at your practice, in which you want to effectively help your patients. They come first. There isn’t a lot of time left to then review the latest professional literature. Understandable, which is why we always keep you up to date! This is why Gymna ShockMaster includes intuitive software that can be uploaded and allows you to follow up closely on the most recent developments in Shockwave Therapy. Scientific insights are translated into new and adapted indications. This offers opportunities to continuously expand the applications of your Gymna ShockMaster. This will allow you to effectively treat more patients, which will only benefit your practice’s profits. Investing in Gymna ShockMaster is an investment that yields turnover, knowledge, applications and time.

Seppe Smits, snowboarding world champion (2011), can tell you all about it in the video above.


1 J. Zwerver. Patellar tendinopathy (‘jumper’s knee’): A common and difficult-to-treat sports injury. Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde. 2008; 152(33):1831-7. 2 H. Van der Worp, M. Van Ark, J. Zwerver and I. Van den Akker- Scheek. Risk Factors for Patellar Tendinopathy: A systematic review of the literature. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2011;45(5):446-452 3 M.T. Van Leeuwen, J. Zwerver, and I. Van den Akker-Scheek. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy for patellar tendinopathy: A review of the literature. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2009;43(3):163-8 4 H. van der Worp, J. Zwerver, I. Van den Akker-Scheek and R.L. Diercks. The TOPSHOCK study: Effectiveness of radial shockwave therapy compared to focused shockwave therapy for treating patellar tendinopathy. Design of a randomized controlled trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2011; 12:229