Knee pain is very common both amongst sports people as well as those not so active. Working out what is the cause of your knee pain is the job of a specialised physiotherapist.
There are a number of structures that can cause pain around the knee and one is the patella tendon.
The Patella tendon attaches the Patella to the Tibia and has an attachment from the quadriceps muscle. The tendon is the structure that the bone attaches to. The pain is often at the site where the tendon meets the bone, and this is where changes can occur to the tendon structure.
The patella tendon often becomes problematic with jumping activities or those of high impact. This can be seen in football, basketball and in runners as well. It can also be triggered if you have started impact work in your gym programme such as jumping or burpees.
Management of Patella tendon includes;
Stage one is to settle the tendon down. You can try icing the area, either with an ice pack or get an ice cube and gently massage across the painful spot.
This can be done twice a day for the first week. You could try gently rubbing ibruprofen gel into the area (as long as you have no allergies or medical reasons not to use anti-inflammatories- always speak to a pharmacist).
Alongside any pain relief you need to look at the things that aggravate your symptoms and then start to look at a loading programme.
Reducing the impact that causing aggravation, reduce the compression through the tendon by not stretching the knee back and not squatting deeper than 70 degrees. Avoiding kneeling and lunging or any deep cycling motion.
Exercises that may help to start with are wall squat holds or static holds on the leg press < 70 degrees. This should produce minimal pain during, after and the next morning. A rough guide is 60% rep max for isometrics and then gradually build. One of the main reasons tendons will not progress with exercise is that the exercise needs to be at the right level for your specific injury. If you are not making any improvements with generic advise, then you probably need a more individualised programme.