Let’s start with some background info on Osgood schlatters and why it occurs. Osgood schlatters is a rupture of the growth plate at the tibial tuberosity of the knee and it occurs due to rapid growth at the knee and the resulting changes in limb control. It relates to inflammation of the area just below the knee where the tendon from the kneecap (patellar tendon) attaches to the shinbone (tibia). Symptoms that can occur include local pain, swelling and tenderness over the tibial tuberosity. This pain can be increased during running, decelerating, jumping and knee dominant exercises. Osgood Schlatter’s can occur from a number of reasons, but at ACE Performance the most common reason we see is due to inadequate lower limb control during high growth stages in adolescents. This lack of control leads to excessive force on the tibial tuberosity through the strain on the quadriceps and ultimately micro-fractures occur. This is most prevalent in youth aged 11-14 and particularly in males who compete in sports with high impact load (e.g. basketball, soccer, football). So what is ‘inadequate lower limb control’ and how can we improve it?
As humans, we have a natural way of moving that is unique to ourselves. During periods of high growth in youth, this unique movement pattern can begin to look a little awkward and disjointed. Certain areas of the body, including joints and muscle tissue, will start to overload as more pressure is placed on them due to the breakdown in movement patterns.
The knee is one of the key joints that can experience this overload, which are
amplified during exercise and in particular, running, sprinting, decelerating, jumping and landing. The hardest part for youth is understanding that they will experience pain every now and then, but being active and working on prevention is better than sitting out exercise and play completely.
Osgood Schlatters Do’s and Do Not’s Check list
✅Ice after training and games
✅Continue to exercise if pain permits
✅Complete your rehab exercises everyday
✅Cross-train – (Boxing or swimming)
❌Ignore the issue and think it’ll go away by itself
❌Give up exercise completely
❌Seek surgical intervention
❌Let it mentally get you down!
We’ve included our three best exercises for reducing the symptoms of Osgood Schlatters and hopefully mitigating the onset of pain in the future.
This exercise is the perfect start to ensure that your Vastus Medialis Oblique (VMO) and Glute Med muscles are turning on at the correct times and to prevent the knee collapsing inwards and excessive forward shin shift. Look to complete 3 x 10 reps per leg
WALL SIT (HOLD) Sitting just above parallel look to contract and recruit all muscles within the legs. Sit with a flat back on the wall and hold for 3 x 30sec where possible
COCKROACH LEG EXTENSIONS This is designed to ensure stabilising the muscles within the hips and back to help improve hip stability and the co-ordination through to the knee and ankles. Keeping your back flat on the ground, slowly extend one leg whilst holding your hips in neutral. Aim for 3 x 6 reps per leg
These exercises can be completed daily based upon how each individual recovers from the previous day and the severity of the symptoms. Do not complete the exercises if the individual is experiencing pain on the tibial tuberosity above a 4/10.
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