This week we visit Osgood Schlatters Disease, or as I like to call it a condition of the knee in children!
What exactly is Osgood Schlatters?
Essentially it is painful inflammation or irritation of the bone growth plate in the shin bone (tibia bone) which is just below the knee cap.
It generally happens in children between the ages of 9-14, when they have a growth spurt and is more common in boys and those who are particularly active in sport and exercise..
This condition normally goes away when your child stops growing and should not cause long lasting issues provided you manage it correctly.
What are the causes and symptoms?
If your child is very active with exercise and sport then this can lead to it. Pain below the knee cap is one of the most common symptoms, and it is often painful to touch and can be accompanied by a lump in the area of pain (the tibial tuberosity)
Your child may also find walking up and down the stairs hard to do as well and bending down onto their knees.
How can we help our kids?
Listen to your child and do NOT let your child play through the pain. This can only increase the amount of time it takes to recover, and lead to them to not being able to play the sport they love for a longer period of time!
Get an assessment from a therapist who can assess and treat where appropriate. Sports massage from a professional on the surrounding soft tissue can help reduce tension. REST is important for children with this condition. The tibial tuberosity should be pain free to touch before recommencing exercise.
Before a return to sport a period of supervised progression of exercise should take place to prepare the body. Make sure your child warms up correctly before exercise. When returning to sport a protective knee pad/support can help. Particular for sports played on hard ground. Correct footwear is important and shock absorbing insoles can help in some cases
A little foam rolling and stretching could help relieve symptoms and aid preventing the issue. Below is the links to a few exercises that could be used to help. There are plenty more out there so this is to give you a few ideas. If your child plays a lot of sport it is worth educating them on how to start to look after themselves. Its not hard and it can be done while they watch the TV too!
Quad foam rolling
Hip flexor stretch – this is better with a cushion under the knee and would not be suitable if the knee is painful when rested on the floor
Calf foam rolling
Hip strengthening exercises (one example here)
If you have any questions your welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or even check out my facebook page www.facebook.com/richknightperformance which is full of useful self help videos which can be used by you and your family alike.