Health & Fitness – Osgood Schlatters

Each month, in partnership with Emma James Physiotherapy, we will share the latest thoughts and articles on fitness and wellbeing for you, your family or players. This month’s topic is how to deal with tendon pains

Osgood Schlatters 

Osgood Schlatters is an inflammation (swelling) of the area just below the knee where the tendon from the kneecap (patellar tendon) attaches to the shinbone (tibia).  Continued traction from the quadriceps can lead to a repetitive injury to the growth plate causing pain and swelling in this region.  It is commonly exacerbated by sports (particularly football) but can also occur during a growth spurt when bones and soft tissue structures are changing rapidly.

What are the risk factors?

A rapid growth spurt typically between the ages of 10-14 years in boys and 8-12 years in girls.  Regular high impact sports such as repetitive running, jumping, football and gymnastics causing repeated strain to the growth plate.

How does it present itself?


Typically, symptoms present in one knee but it can affect both.  Usually it starts very gradually and can come and go after sporting activity.  Pain is normally noted over the tibial tuberosity and there may be some swelling or an increase in the size of the bony prominence (tibial tuberosity).

What can you do to help your symptoms?

Ice after active sessions and take pain relief if required.  A short course of anti-inflammatory medication may also be of benefit.

Activity modification may be required if you are doing a lot of sport, especially if more than 5 sessions per week.  A period of rest may also be needed however all sports can be continued though must accept that certain activities will be painful.  Symptoms will eventually resolve but until the period of growth slows down then symptoms may still present themselves.

Seek advice to help guide your activity levels and stretch out any tight muscles to address the imbalance and reduced pressure on the growth plate but the good news is this will resolve!


NHS CKS Osgood-Schlatter’s Disease

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