Kids and painful knees

Lastejooksud2I have been working with lots of upper primary and secondary school students lately. It’s coming up to the end of the winter sporting season and many children are training and competing in many sports and at many different levels, ie school, club, district and development squads. A common complaint I am hearing is that their knees are sore. Parents often describe this knee pain as growing pains. Quite often these children are suffering from Osgood-Schlatter disease.

Osgood-Schlatter’s occurs in children and adolescents who are going through a growth spurt, it can occur in both boys and girls. Typically the pain occurs with activities like running and jumping, bending – sports like football, netball, soccer etc. The condition may be in one or both knees and the pain occurs approximately 2 to 4 cm below the kneecap, the area is generally swollen and there is a painful lump.

In Osgood-Schlatter’s, the thigh bone grows first then the thigh (quadriceps) muscle needs to stretch to match the longer bone. The thigh muscle tendon attaches to the top of the shin bone, the tendon pulls against the shin bone and this is where the pain and lump is. Osgood-Schlatter’s is self-limiting and settles once the bones stop growing.

Osgood-Schlatter disease1_2 (1)

Treatments options may include:
• RICER (Rest Ice Compression Elevation)
• Patella strap
• Stretching

Referral to a healthcare professional, doctor or physiotherapist, will be able to diagnose the condition and offer treatment options to suit your personal needs.

Please note: This information is of a general nature and is not personal professional advice.