Osgood-Schlatters Disease is a painful condition where a patient typically experiences pain below the knee joint. Young athletes typically experience this painful condition and can develop after participating in certain sports that require frequents amount of jumping or running.
The cause of this inflammatory condition is associated with periods of significant growth resulting in the muscle and tendon tissue being tight and creating tension at their attachment point to the bone. These growth changes in conjunction with increased volume or intensity of running, cutting and training can lead to this painful condition.
The symptoms of Osgood-Schlatters disease usually consist of anterior knee pain and local swelling. This is associated with local tenderness to palpation over the tibia below the kneecap. It is commonly found in adolescents ages 10-15 and often related to participation in sports involving running, cutting and jumping.
Doctors and other orthopedic healthcare providers will typically examine a patient's medical history and ask about the adolescent's sports and physical activity to determine potential causes and contributing factors to the pain that the patient is experiencing. In addition, the healthcare provider would evaluate the patient's range of motion, strength, and flexibility with various exercises and stretches to determine whether or not a patient has Osgood-Schlatters disease.
Physical therapy can help individuals who experience Osgood-Schlatters disease with a combination of manual therapy techniques, exercises, stretches, and deep tissue mobilization.
Rest is required, but this should be relative rest, not complete rest. A program of stretching exercises in conjunction with deep tissue mobilization for the tight muscles, coupled with strengthening of other surrounding muscles helps restore pain free sporting activity. Assessment of other contributing biomechanical and sporting factors can help return to sport.
Preventing Osgood-Schlatters disease often starts with proper education on effective stretching and exercise recommendations to ensure that the patient's muscles and tendons are prepared for the upcoming workout. In addition, patients need to monitor their level of physical activity to avoid overdoing it. Patients should also focus on making sure that they get the proper rest and recovery to give their body proper time to heal.