Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Knee Exercises For Osgoodschlatters

Osgood-Schlatters is a common cause of knee pain in children and adolescents who play sports. It is characterized by inflammation of the cartilage and/or tendon at the top of the shin bone (tibia) where the patellar tendon attaches. Osgood-Schlatters typically occurs in children who experienced a grown spurt in the previous year. Children and adolescents are more vulnerable to this condition because their bones, muscles and tendons grow quickly, but not at the same time; the differences in muscle size and strength put pressure on the knees.


Symptoms of Osgood-Schlatters include a swollen, warm, tender, visible bump below the kneecap that hurts when pressed, weak quad muscles, tightness in muscles surrounding knee, and pain when kneeling, running, jumping, twisting, squatting or deep-knee bending--any activity that requires the leg be fully bent or extended.


Knee exercises for Osgood-Schlatters involve a physical therapy program of strengthening the muscles surrounding the knee. Such exercises include quad contractions (keeping the leg straight and pulling the kneecap up while pushing the back of the thigh into the floor), straight-leg raises (contracting the quadriceps muscle and lifting the straightened leg straight up and down), side leg lifts (lying on the side and raising the bottom leg up for a number of repetitions, before repeating with the top leg), leg curls (lying on the stomach and bringing the foot toward the buttocks) and heel raises (standing and raising and lowering the heels). Exercises such as knee extensions, heavy squats and plyometrics may cause symptoms to worsen.

Stretching exercises also help treat this condition. The child or teen should stretch several times a day and include all major leg muscles. The hamstring, abductor (outer thigh) and adductor (inner thigh) stretches can be done by lying on your back and using a rope or cord to pull your straightened leg toward your head (for hamstring), and then away from your body and toward the floor (adductor) and lastly, across your body and toward the floor (abductor). For a quadricep stretch, lie on one side, grab your ankle and pull your leg toward your buttocks; for your calf, stand on the balls of your feet on a step and slowly let your heels drop.

Osgood-Schlatters usually goes away within several weeks or months with rest, ice, compression and elevation. Depending on the severity, however, you may have to limit or stop athletic activities until the condition improves.

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