Osgood Schlatters is a common knee problem caused by irritation of the bone just below the kneecap. It is most common in adolescents and tends to occur after a growth spurt, and is usually associated with muscle weakness and tightness. It can take anything from a couple of weeks to 2 years to recover from, depending on how well it is treated.
Muscle weakness is also a common feature of
and can actually make the condition worse. When there is muscle
weakness, it changes the way the forces go through the knee, putting
more pressure through the knee bones. It also means that the other
muscles have to work harder to compensate, and they can end up
developing problems. It is therefore really important to do strengthening exercises to help treat Osgood Schlatters Disease and to prevent it from recurring.
Here are some simple exercises that can really
help Osgood Schlatters Disease. Once you have got to grips with these, I suggest you also start doing some stretching exercises to speed up your recovery.
Purpose: Strengthen the hamstrings whilst also working the quads and buttock muscles
Starting Position: Lie on your back with both knees bent about 90° and your feet on the floor/bed
Action: Clench your buttocks and lift your bottom off the bed as high as you can without arching your back. Hold for 3-5 seconds and slowly lower
Repetitions: Repeat 10-25 times, 1-2x daily
Note: a) Keep your back straight – don’t let it arch as you lift up, it should be your bottom doing the work
b) Don’t hold your breath – keep breathing normally
c)Don’t let your knees drop out – imagine you are trying to hold a tennis ball between your knees
Purpose: Increase the muscles on the inside of your knee that are responsible for how the kneecap moves, also increases knee stability
Starting Position: Sit in a chair, feet hip width apart with a soft/foam football in between your knees.
Action: Clench your buttocks, clench your knees and gently squeeze the ball with your knees. Hold for 3-5 secs and relax
Repetition: Repeat 10-20x, 2x daily
Place your fingers on the muscles on the inside of the knee and feel
the muscle tighten underneath you to check you are doing it right
b) When you squeeze the ball, make sure the squeezing movement comes from your knees, not your hips
Note: If you don’t have a foam football, you could use a folded up pillow
Purpose: Further strengthening of the muscles on the inside of your knee that control the kneecap moves. Also increases knee stability
Starting Position: Lying on your back with a pillow under your knees so knees are bent 30°. Feet hip width apart with a soft football in between your knees
Action: Squeeze the football as with stage 1 (clench buttocks and knee muscles). Then lift one foot up off the bed, straightening the knee, all whilst still squeezing the ball. Hold for 3 secs and slowly lower the leg. Finally, relax the knee (unclench).
Repetition: Repeat 10-20x, 2x daily
Note: a) Ensure that you keep squeezing the ball throughout the exercise – keep the knee and buttock clench going throughout.
b) Keep the knee resting on the pillow – do not lift it up
Purpose: Strengthen the Quads muscles without bending the knee NB Do not do this if you have a history of back problems
Starting position: Lying flat on your back. Leg and knee straight
Action: Pull your toes towards you and tighten/clench the muscle on the front of the thigh, locking your knee straight. Lift your foot up about 6 inches off the bed. Hold for 3-5 secs and slowly lower. Ensure your knee stays straight the whole time
Repetition: repeat 10-20 times, 2x daily
Progression: Add a weight eg by wearing a shoe, or using an ankle weight.
Purpose: Strengthen the buttock muscles (glutes) to help support the knee and prevent excessive weight going through the inner side of the knee – a must for anyone with Osgood Schlatters!
Starting position: Lie on your side with your hip and knees bent approx 90°, feet together.
Action: Keeping your feet together, lift the top knee up as high as you can. Hold for 3 seconds and slowly lower
Repetition: Repeat 10-25x on each side, 2x daily
Note: Do not let your top hip roll backwards
If you want to know more about Osgood-Schlatter Disease including more information on its causes, presentation and other treatment options, go to the Osgood Schlatters Overview page.
If you haven't already visited the Stretches for Osgood Schlatter Disease page, I would highly recommend it, as muscle tightness is one of the key causes of Osgood Schlatters.
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Updated 30th April 2013
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