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Does Physical Therapy Help Osgood Schlatter & Can You Massage Your Knee?

Osgood Schlatter disease is a major cause related to knee pain in most of the young teenage individuals and growing children. The disease characterizes inflammation and pain in the affected area i.e. area below your knee. Doctors also refer to this area as tendon i.e. the attaching part of your shinbone i.e. tibia and kneecap. The disease mainly takes place or develops at the time of growth spurts.

Whenever growth spurts take place in adolescences, specific muscles as well as tendons grow at a relatively fast rate and not necessarily at the same rate. With physical activities, differences in strength and size of quadriceps muscles may apply a high amount of stress on your growth plate across the top area of the shinbone.

The growth plate becomes weak and highly prone to injury as compared to other bone parts. Because of this, it irritates you while you experience physical stress. The irritation may sometimes result in the formation of a painful lump beneath your kneecap. This is a prime sign associated with the problem of Osgood Schlatter. (1)

Does Physical Therapy Help Osgood Schlatter?

If the doctor diagnoses your child as suffering from Osgood Schlatter, he or she may recommend physical therapy to start a baseline assessment of the child. The therapy will aim to detect the extremity strength, deal with the range of motion, functional pain levels, and functional balance. According to the evaluation, the physical therapist of your child will design a well-targeted exercise program to treat the problem of Osgood Schlatter. Common programs include-

Strengthening Exercises: Restriction in the physical movement at the time of recovery may sometimes cause shrinking and shortening of muscles i.e. atrophy. In this situation, therapists recommend including exercises aim to strengthen the hamstrings, quadriceps and hip muscles. You may achieve enough physical strength with squats and lunges.

Stretching Exercises: Most of the children suffering from Osgood Schlatter experience tightness in different muscle groups present in their low extremities. To overcome this problem, therapists suggest performing quad stretches, hamstring stretches and calf stretches in the program.

Pain Control: Application of ice and heat may help in loosening the tight joints and in reducing both pain and inflammation. Alternatively, you may use Kinesiology tape to give enough support to the knees.

Coordination And Balance Exercises: A few of the children suffering from Osgood Schlatter deal with the problem of impaired coordination and balance. To overcome the problem, therapists teach you the necessary balance exercises. For instance, you have to perform T-stance exercise, where you stand on your single leg, while lean in the forward direction with your outstretched arms. This step lets you improve your strength and balance in the affected knee, ankle and hip.

Physical therapy may help you to relieve pain and inflammation associated with Osgood Schlatter disease based on its mobility, strengthening and stretching exercises.(2)

Massage Relevance To Deal With Osgood Schlatter

Ice Compressions Massage: Ice Compression type of massage is helpful to overcome the underlying symptoms of Osgood Schlatter. Accordingly, you should apply ice on the affected area for about 15 minutes to 20 minutes and that too for 2 times to 3 times in one day or after you perform any strenuous activity. This step will help you to reduce the swelling, pain, and inflammation related to Osgood Schlatter disease.(3)

Soft Tissue-Based Massage Therapy: If your child experiences pain and inflammation related to Osgood Schlatter, you may approach a therapist expert in providing soft tissue-based massage therapy to get relief to some extent. As the name highlights, the therapy consists of direct physical action on the body’s soft tissues.

The target structures consist of tendons, muscles, ligaments, fascia and other connected tissue. Soft tissue massage techniques involve a complete range of massage pressures, durations, and depths.(4)


To conclude, we should say that both physical therapy and massage therapy are helpful to manage your symptoms, such as swelling, pain, and inflammation related to Osgood Schlatter.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 1, 2020

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