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How Can Physical Therapy help with Osgood Schlatter Issues?

March 19, 2024

 

Osgood-Schlatter disease is a condition that affects the growth plate at the top of the shinbone (tibia) where the tendon from the kneecap (patellar tendon) attaches. It commonly occurs in children and adolescents who are experiencing growth spurts, particularly those who participate in sports that involve running, jumping, or quick changes in direction.

Physical therapy can play a significant role in managing Osgood-Schlatter disease by addressing symptoms, reducing pain, and promoting proper biomechanics. Here are some ways physical therapy may be helpful:

Pain management

Physical therapists can use modalities such as ice, heat, ultrasound, or electrical stimulation to help alleviate pain and inflammation in the affected area.

Stretching exercises

Tightness in the quadriceps muscles and surrounding structures can exacerbate symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease. Physical therapists can prescribe stretching exercises to improve flexibility and reduce tension in these muscles.

Strengthening exercises

Weakness in the quadriceps, hamstrings, and hip muscles can contribute to biomechanical imbalances and increase stress on the knee joint. Physical therapists can design a strengthening program to target these muscle groups, helping to stabilize the knee and improve overall function.

Activity modification

Physical therapists can provide guidance on modifying activities and sports participation to reduce stress on the knee joint while allowing for continued participation in physical activity.

Biomechanical assessment and correction

A physical therapist can assess movement patterns and biomechanics during activities such as running or jumping. They can identify any issues with gait or movement mechanics that may be contributing to symptoms and provide corrective exercises or adjustments to improve alignment and reduce strain on the knee.

Patient Education

Physical therapists can educate patients and their families about Osgood-Schlatter disease, including its causes, symptoms, and prognosis. They can also provide guidance on home exercises, activity modification, and strategies for pain management.

 

It’s important for individuals with Osgood-Schlatter disease to seek guidance from a healthcare professional, such as a physical therapist or sports medicine physician, for an accurate diagnosis and comprehensive treatment plan. While Osgood-Schlatter disease often resolves on its own with time and appropriate management, physical therapy can help alleviate symptoms and improve function, allowing individuals to return to their normal activities more comfortably and safely.