Despite being a mouthful to say, Osgood-Schlatter’s Disease (OSD) is a very common injury in young athletes. It’s incredibly painful to those who suffer from it, and many parents search for ways to help while keeping their kids in the game. If you’ve got a child with Osgood-Schlatter’s, take a look at what exactly it is and how compression can help.
What is OSD?
Characterized by pain just below the kneecap, Osgood-Schlatter’s disease is inflammation of the patellar ligament at the top of the shin, also known as the tibial tuberosity. It’s an overuse injury from too much running, jumping, and cutting, which covers the majority of sports kids play. Without adequate rest between activity, the constant stress of the quadriceps muscle pulls on the growth plate that lies just at the attachment point to the shin. As children’s are still growing, often the bones haven’t reached a level of strength that can resist this pull, and a small fracture occurs where the ligament pulls at the bone. Due to this demand, the body often responds by forming a bony deposit at the site of pain in an effort to fix the issue.
Treatment for Osgood-Schlatter’s
Overworked and tight quads are typically the culprit. Physicians will usually recommend stretching of these muscles to soften the tension against the tibia, as well as strengthening the calves and hamstrings to combat this force. Overall, a muscular balance needs to be restored around the knee.
While OSD is still painful, however, most clinicians recommend NSAIDs, ice, and rest. Compression has a secondary benefit in that it not only relieves and manages pain, but can be worn during activity to temper the inflammatory response.
How Compression can make all of the difference
A knee sleeve can serve a few purposes in treating Osgood-Schlatter’s. Compression itself helps provide external feedback to keep muscular balance around the knee. But primarily, it can reduce inflammation surrounding the knee joint, causing less pain over time. Since the lack of rest time between activity is a primary risk factor, knee compression helps minimize the total levels of inflammation, in theory providing a shorter time to recovery. However, if your child already has severe Osgood-Schlatter’s, they’re best taking time off completely.
Research has also shown a significant effect of knee sleeves on experience of pain. A drastic decrease in pain sensation was reported when compression was applied to knee injury. Due to tension applying control over the patellar tendon, an external compressive force helps prevent further pulling on the tibia while rehabilitation is in effect.
Having your child wear compression during and following activity can play a major role in dealing with their symptoms associated with Osgood-Schlatter. Most pain from this condition subsides once a child has finished growing, or at the end of adolescence. If you don’t want them to miss out on key years of athletic development and fun, consider one of our knee sleeves to keep them feeling well.