What is it and what is it good for?

Runners often try everything to improve their training. For example, a patellar strap is sometimes used to treat knee complaints. But when do you use this? And what is it good for? We asked sports physical therapist Ronald Derksen.

What is the patellar ligament?

The patellar band is a belt around the lower leg – just below the knee. The front compresses the patellar tendon – also known as the patellar tendon – and exerts pressure, reducing pressure on the knee and pain. This supports and stabilizes the patella (knee ligament). The patellar belt is worn while playing various sports such as tennis, football, volleyball, and of course running. It is often used for the prevention and treatment of injuries.

What is a patella belt used for?

A patellar strap is often used to treat patellar tendon overload or growing pains, but it is also often used to treat jumper's knee, runner's knee, or other tendonitis, including the patellar tendon. These are often complaints on landing as the impact hits the bottom of the kneecap. The patella belt then transfers pressure and provides support. However, you should not expect miracles from him. “Although the results of a patellar brace are better than a compression brace or knee brace, it has mainly a comfort effect, just as with other knee braces,” Derksen says. It also has a psychological effect. “This is because your brain gives you the feeling that there is something around it that makes you feel more confident,” Derksen says.

Will a patella belt work for me?

There is a patellar strap to provide support if you feel unstable – but it doesn't do much to relieve your pain. It can help physically to some extent, but it's mostly mental. You can use it for prevention, for example because you are afraid of injuring your knee – or for light support in case of injuries. The danger is that you will not dare to do without it. Are you really in pain? “You shouldn't try to hide these signs with a patellar band, but go see a physical therapist,” Derksen says.

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Ronald Derksen is the owner of Hardloopfysio, a sports physical therapy and sports podiatry company. As a sports physical therapist, he specializes in running injuries. He is also an avid runner with over 40 years of experience.

Megan Vasquez

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