Does KT Tape Help Osgood Schlatter?
Taping is a good method for relieving the symptoms of Osgood schlatter condition. It can provide relief from the pain as well as support to the knee joint to continue walking in certain conditions. KT tape is also known as kinesiology tape is commonly used for such conditions. It is made up of cotton and spandex which provides flexibility to the tape and contains special glue that does not fall with sweating or repetitive stretching. Earlier it was not thought to be a good method but after its increased usage in the athletics, it has become a very popular method nowadays.
The principle behind the use of KT tape is that on one side it provides the sensory input to the skin which helps in reducing the pain but on the other side it’s stretchability could be used to provide tension or relaxation to a certain group of muscles and reduces its workload. If the tape is applied with a stretching force then it provides tension to the muscles and increases its force generation. If the same tape is used without any stretch, it provides the sensory input to turn ‘off ‘ the muscles and reduces its force generation.(2)
So, if the person is suffering from Osgood schlatter condition then the KT tape could be applied around knee joint for pain relief. It can also be applied without any stretch on the quadriceps or hamstring group of muscles which will reduce the tension force generated by them.
Why Is Osgood Schlatter Condition Painful?
Osgood schlatter condition occurs due to repetitive stressful exercises of legs like repetitive jumping, running, which leads to an increase in the pulling force to the patellar tendon which in turn increases the pull-on patellar ligament inserted at the tibial tuberosity.
It occurs due to lesser flexibility of quadriceps muscles which generate a lot more tension at the insertion point. Because the tibial tuberosity is pulled with such a force, it leads to disruption of the immature growth center located at the same site. It starts a process of inflammation leading to a collection of inflammatory mediators at the site which produces a variety of symptoms most common of which is pain. Other symptoms like swelling, redness, etc. can also be produced but not always. Substance P is the inflammatory mediator responsible for the generation of pain.
There can also be the disruption of the tibial tuberosity and avulsion fracture can also occur. Although the fracture can range from disruption of a small bone chip to a complete avulsion fracture, pain occurs in both the conditions. It can be self-limiting but if the intensity of pain increases then some painkillers may be required. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like paracetamol, Ibuprofen, etc. are the best group of drugs for minimizing pain as well as countering the process of inflammation.(1)
Osgood Schlatter disease is painful because of the inflammatory process going on at the junction of the growth plate at the tibial tuberosity. Various inflammatory mediators get collected at the site of inflammation and activate the free nerve endings supplying the nearby tissue which provides the stimulus for the pain pathway. Also, there can be a fracture at the same site and it can damage some of the nerve fibers which may also lead to the generation of pain.
Although the pain could be managed by painkillers nowadays another method is used in the form of KT tape. Also known as kinesiology tape, it is applied by lifting the skin from the underlying tissues and provides sensory input to the area at which it is applied, in turn helping in the reduction of pain by providing more touch stimulus. It can also be used to control muscle tension.
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