Patellar Tendon Massage

Patella tendon cross friction massage

Here we demonstrate simple Patellar tendon cross friction massage techniques for treating Patella tendonitis /Jumper’s knee.


Medically reviewed by Dr. Chaminda Goonetilleke, 21st Dec. 2021

The following massage techniques form part of our full Jumper’s knee rehab program.

Contraindications to Patellar tendon massage

Before beginning any massage treatment your therapist will check for contraindications. A contraindication is something that indicates massage is not suitable, or worse, could cause further injury or damage. In particular, be aware of the following with:

If any of the above apply then massage is not suitable.

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When should I apply massage?

Cross friction massage helps treat Patella tendonitis/tendinopathy, but only after the initial acute stage has passed. Massage is often considered as a treatment option for more long term, chronic cases which fail to respond to initial treatment.

How to apply patellar tendon cross friction massage

Apply gentle pressure to the thigh muscles, just above the patella. This tilts the bottom of the patella upwards. As a result, the point at where the tendon attaches to the patella is exposed and more easily accessed. Therefore it is much easier to apply cross frictions to the tendon.

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Apply gentle cross friction massage techniques forwards and backwards across the Patellar tendon. Do not go too hard. It should not be so deep that you cause significant pain.

It is important to go across the line of the tendon. Your aim is to align newly formed scar tissue along the length of the tendon and you do this by massaging across it.

Thigh muscle massage

As well as cross friction massage to the patellar tendon, massaging the quadriceps muscles at the front of your thigh is also a good idea. Massage helps loosen your muscles and increases the effectiveness of stretching exercises.

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