Does your knee often trouble you with pain? You’re not alone! The Osgood-Schlatter (say ‘oz-good shlat-ter’) condition is common in active, rapidly growing teenagers.
During growth spurts, the muscles around your knees can become very tight. This involves a part of your knee called the tibial tuberosity, which you will notice is the bump just below your knee-cap (patella). Pre-teens and young teens (between 11-14 years old) are often affected by Osgood-Schlatter because the bones are growing fast at this age.
Being ultra keen on sport unfortunately might add to the problem. Any activity can cause Osgood-Schlatter, but it’s more common in activities that involve a lot of jumping and cutting, like basketball, netball, volleyball, soccer and gymnastics.
The good news is that you and your parents can help treat the pain in your knee by using the RICE protocol.
R Rest the knee from the painful activity I Ice the affected area for 20 minutes, 3 times a day C Compress the painful area with an elastic bandage E Elevate the leg
If the knee remains uncomfortable for you during this time, you should consult a physiotherapist.
A consultation with a physiotherapist involves looking at how your knee is moving, for example, running style, knee-cap angle/position or how you play sport. These factors may contribute to the problem during your growth spurt.
Following this assessment the physio will commence treatment. This could involve a range of techniques such as massage, joint movements, stretches or strengthening exercises to name a few. Small changes can help reduce the pain you are experiencing.
It is important that you tell your parents if your knees are hurting you (you could tell them you think you might know what is causing the pain – they’ll be very impressed!).