Since Osgood schlatter disease is an acute inflammatory condition arising from the repetitive damage occurring at the growth plate of the tibia with very stressful activities like jumping, running, etc. It can also occur due to tightness/ lesser flexibility in the thigh muscles which can be both quadriceps or hamstrings.(1) One common rule for any inflammatory condition is that it has not to be disturbed when inflammation is in its acute phase.
So, the first mode of treatment is rest and ice application. If the patient is non-compliant, then the forceful bandage or cast application can be done. Usually, it gets resolved by only rest but sometimes it can be very painful and may require painkillers like Ibuprofen, celecoxib, etc.
Once the acute phase is over then the exercising and rehabilitation can be started slowly. One should not return to the activities too early because it may aggravate the condition. The rehabilitation and physiotherapy process mainly focuses on increasing the flexibility of three groups of muscles; quadriceps, hamstrings, and gastrocnemius.
What Exercises Are Good For Osgood Schlatter Disease?
Straight leg raises are the initial exercise to be performed in Osgood schlatter disease. It is for the stretching and flexibility of hamstrings as well as gastrocnemius muscles. While starting, the knee is bent and adequate weight is put on the foot to determine how much can be lifted easily without putting excess pressure. If the person is unable to lift the weight then and it can be performed without any weight hanging from the ankle. Now the person is said to lift the leg straight without bending the knee in an upward direction for about 12 inches or 1 foot. At least a minimum of 10 repetitions has to be given with keeping the foot in the air for about 5 seconds and two sets are performed. Once the person can steadily increase the count to 15, weight on the ankle is increased and again said to perform a minimum of 10 repetitions.
Short arc quadriceps is a similar exercise as that of straight leg raise except there is a towel put under the affected knee to raise it from the ground for about 6 inches. Now the person is asked to lift the affected leg by keeping it straight for about 1 foot from the ground keeping the quadriceps muscles tight. It has to be done for at least 5 seconds and two sets of 10 each are to be performed. It looks a very similar exercise but it focuses altogether on a different group of muscles that is quadriceps.
Another exercise to strengthen knee joint is wall slides also known as quarter squats. The person is said to stand near a wall with the back towards the wall for a distance of about 12 inches. Then the person has to lean on the wall with hands straight towards the ground. Then start slowly to slide on the wall by bending the knees slowly. If at any moment pain starts, it means the squat performed is more than the limit. The person has to maintain the position for about 5 seconds during the squat and then rise again. It has to be done in 10 repetitions and two sets are to be performed. If the exercise becomes easy, then dumbbells can be put in the hands to increase the weight on the wall slide.(2)
Osgood schlatter disease is an inflammatory condition so the rehabilitation process is not started until the inflammation has subsided. Various exercises can be performed to accelerate the healing process.
One thing has to be kept in mind that before performing the exercises the person should have adequate knowledge of the exercise and its movements and try to perform it accurately. Because the mechanics of exercise are not correct then it may cause more harm than good.
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