Osgood Schlatters' Disease Prognosis
Before we get into the treatment of Osgood Schlatters’ Disease, we highly recommend you check out our previous blog on what it is!
If you are dealing with Osgood Schlatters’ Disease, medical doctors often prescribe rest as the way to treat it, which helps to an extent. Osgood Schlatters’ Disease symptoms can linger for up to 12-18 months; therefore, there is more you can do while resting to take control of the condition. Unfortunately, there is no cure for it; however, the good news is that you can decrease your symptoms and optimize your mechanics to be able to play sports again!
The two big things you have to focus on for Osgood Schlatters’ Disease treatment are Offloading, then Optimizing!
Offloading The Knee
In the early stages of Osgood Schlatters’ Disease, the recommendation is to offload the knee by decreasing quadriceps stress. The reason is that the increased quadriceps muscle contractions, especially during eccentric contractions lead to increased stress on the tibial tuberosity. You should be avoiding aggravating activities and limiting overall activity for the first 4 weeks to help decrease the inflammatory process and calm the knee down.
Furthermore, while you are offloading the inflamed area, you can still be performing exercises to optimize your recovery. In this case, our other main goals of the offloading phase are to stretch the quadriceps muscles and strengthen the posterior chain.
One of the quadriceps muscles you should be focusing on is the rectus femoris. The rectus femoris starts at the hip and attaches at the knee cap, and is the biggest contributor to increased stress on the tibial tuberosity. Therefore, we have to stretch that muscle. In regards to strengthening, we have to strengthen the posterior chain which are the glutes and hamstrings.
Optimize Muscular Imbalances & Movement Mechanics
In the middle and late stages of rehab, you should be strengthening the quadriceps muscles appropriately and progressively. Moreover, the most important part of this stage is that you should be correcting your movement mechanics, such as proper squatting, lunging, running, landing, etc.
For example, if you use a knee strategy, meaning driving our knees past our toes during those movements, it will increase the stress on the tibial tuberosity. Therefore, you need to use the hip muscles, specifically the glutes, more. We want you to optimize your mechanics by utilizing a proper combination of a hip and knee strategy. In other words, we have to improve our ability to use both the quadriceps and posterior chain muscles, to absorb and produce force.
If you are dealing with Osgood Schlatters’ Disease and want to learn how to decrease your symptoms and overcome this condition, check out our 14-week Osgood Schlatters’ Disease Management Program. It includes a 5-day workout week, over 100 video-instructed exercises a week program designed to help manage your symptoms and optimize your recovery.
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Neuhaus C, Appenzeller-Herzog C, Faude O. A systematic review on conservative treatment options for OSGOOD-Schlatter disease. Phys Ther Sport. 2021 May;49:178-187. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2021.03.002. Epub 2021 Mar 9. PMID: 33744766.
Rathleff MS, Winiarski L, Krommes K, Graven-Nielsen T, Hölmich P, Olesen JL, Holden S, Thorborg K. Pain, Sports Participation, and Physical Function in Adolescents With Patellofemoral Pain and Osgood-Schlatter Disease: A Matched Cross-sectional Study. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2020 Mar;50(3):149-157. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2020.8770. Epub 2020 Jan 6. PMID: 31905093.
Dr. Gabriel Ignacio PT, DPT, OCS, TPI
Dr. Marco Lopez PT, DPT, CSCS
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