What is Osgood Schlatters Disease?
It is common for young athletes and children complaining of knee pain to be suffering with Osgood Schlatters disease. It is an inflammation of the bony protrusion below the knee (called the tibial tuberosity or tubercle) where the patella tendon attaches. It mainly affects boys aged 10 to 16 years old and will clear up when they stop growing and the tendons become stronger, however, it can occasionally persist into adulthood. The symptoms of osgood schlatters disease include swelling around the bony lump just below the knee. This area may be tender to touch, especially during and after exercise. Contracting the quad muscles at the front of the thigh may cause pain. After a while, the bony protrusion below the knee can become enlarged. Osgood schlatters is an overuse injury due to repeated tugging of the patella tendon on its insertion point at the tibial tuberosity, causing inflammation. Often seen in children involved in running and jumping activities. The continued trauma causes new bone to grow back during the healing which can cause the bony lump that is often felt at this point.
Osgood Schlatters Disease Treatment
If you suspect osgood schlatters, visit your Doctor or a sports injury therapist who can assess the knee and recommend suitable treatment. The main treatment for osgood's usually involves rest to allow the inflammation to settle. After the main pain has eased, you can continue to exercise, but more lightly and only within the limits of pain. Keep your sessions few and high quality rather than train every day. Use cold therapy to ease pain and inflammation regularly and especially after exercise. A knee support may also help to reduce tension and increase blood flow.
Cold therapy products are recommended to ease pain and inflammation at the site of injury. A simple cold pack should suffice. A neoprene knee support provides compression and support to the knee in general and retains the bodies natural heat. A warm tendon will work much better than a cold one.
A patella tendon strap wraps around just below the knee to support the patella tendon. These are commonly used for patella tendonitis but may also be helpful to ease the strain on the tendon attachment. If you want the benefits of both a neoprene sleeve support and a patella tendon strap, consider the Pro-Tec 'The Lift' Patella Tendon Sleeve which provides the best of both worlds!