osgood-schlatter disease

Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Not all knee pain is created equal!  Today we will be looking at a particular syndrome called Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD) to find out exactly what it is, what causes it and how Chiropractic treatment can help.

What is Osgood-Schlatter disease?

This condition causes a painful bump just below the knee.  It commonly affects children when their knees are still developing and who participate in sports that require:

  • Running
  • Jumping
  • Changing direction quickly

It is inflammation of the shinbone (tibial tuberosity) and the main tendon of the kneecap (patella tendon).

The pain usually worsens with activity and decreases with rest.  It is often confused with patellar tendinitis or generalised knee pain, which is why proper diagnosis is of paramount importance.

What causes Osgood-Schlatter disease?

When children and adolescents run, jump or bend it puts repeated stress on the patellar tendon, this tendon fixes the kneecap to the top of the shinbone.  The continual strain on the tendon pulls on the growth plate, which causes inflammation and pain.

The bony bump occurs when the body grows new bone to try to close the gap!

Who is affected by Osgood-Schlatter disease?

This disease usually strikes during puberty, when the muscles and tendons are growing.  As girls reach puberty earlier than boys, the age ranges differ by gender!

  • In girls OSD is more likely to develop between the ages of 10-13 years old
  • In boys OSD is more likely to develop between the ages of 12-14 years old.

At the moment OSD is more common in boys than girls, however as girls become more involved in sports – the gap is closing!

What are the symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease?

The main symptoms of OSD are:

  • Swelling just below the kneecap that increases with activity
  • Pain just below the kneecap
  • Tenderness
  • A bony bump just below the knee
  • The skin over the bony bump is often red and inflamed.

Although it is more common to occur in just one knee, it can affect both!

How can Chiropractic treatment help?

Whilst the symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease often subside within a year, Chiropractic treatment can greatly reduce the duration of this disease, particularly if it is diagnosed early.

  • Your Chiropractor will give a full examination of the area, including the spine, pelvis and legs.
  • Your Chiropractor will give you advice on load management so that you irritate the area as little as possible.
  • Immediate knee pain treatment will often include rest and ice until they symptoms subside.
  • Stretching exercises are important and your Chiropractor will include these in your treatment plan, as this will help reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process.
  • A strengthening exercise programme of the legs may also be implemented once the tenderness has subsided.
  • Your Chiropractor may recommend deep tissue massage and other soft tissue therapies.
  • Strapping and taping techniques may also be used to stabilise the area.

If you would like some further information or to speak to a member of our team please call us on: Hitchin 01462 420077 or Luton 01582 579687, alternatively e-mail us at: or