Osgood Schlatters, Injury Rehabilitation
How Does Osgood Schlatters Go Away?
You can’t rest your way out of Osgood
Gone are the days of “waiting it out” for Osgood to go away. This is not only tedious and heartbreaking, it actually flies in the face of rehabilitation science.
We still see this all the time, young active teenagers and children diagnosed with Osgood Schlatters told they can’t play any sport for months or even years while they wait for their growth spurt to slow down and their pain to go away in it’s own time.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
In fact, it’s hugely counterproductive.
Why rest doesn’t help
Osgood pain almost always decreases with an extended period of time on the sidelines. However, fitness, strength, coordination, muscle size and tendon elasticity all decrease at a rapid rate leaving an athlete pain free, but weak as a kitten.
So when it comes time to finally return to sport with pain free knees, all the physical qualities that once helped that athlete absorb forces on the sports field are gone. Making it only a matter of time before the Osgood Schlatters returns, typically within 7-14 days.
Its a vicious cycle of pain, rest, weakness, and more pain.
Press pause, then start back slowly
The key to rehabilitating from most injuries, and particularly for overload injuries like Osgood, is to take a short period of time in what is known as relative rest, spending a period of time (2-14 days) with a reduced activity level to allow the knees some time to recover and adapt.
Osgood Schlatters is as much a disease caused by rapidly growing bones as it is an overuse injury of the tendon/enthesis. This overuse is most common in childern who are not strong, mobile or skilled enough to handle their activity levels.
So how do you get on top of your Osgood pain?
For some young athletes this could simply be a 48 hours period of absolutely no running, jumping or sport. Followed by a few weeks of gradually increasing training loads.
For others it might be 1-2 weeks of light activities below 6/10 intensity and no sessions longer than 45 minutes to minimise fatigue. Then gradually increase the session duration of the sessions, before dialing up the intensity a few weeks later.
This is an individualised part of curing Osgood and is tricky to answer in a blog post. But there are two simple tests you can use to determine if you got your loading correct.
- How did your knees feel during and immediately after the activity? Ideally they should not be causing you to limp or be above a 3/10 for pain.
- How do your knees feel the next morning when you get out of bed? This is a great way of telling if your joints are recovering and adapting to the stress.
If you perform poorly on either of these tests dial your training back further until you find a level you can manage.
In our seven week Osgood training program we provide resources to help you and your child better understand their training and activity levels for the best chance of staying pain free once you cure your Osgood Schlatters.
How long to recover from Osgood?
Osgood can take weeks to fix. Or it can take years, depending on how you go about it.
The old method of waiting it out for the growth spurt to slow down enough for a reutrn to sport without pain. This can take months or years and sets young athletes back a long way.
You can put in consistent effort over a few weeks to beat your Osgood Schlatters. Build the strength, mobility and movement skill needed to protect your knees and prevent Osgood from coming back.
There is no magic potion for Osgood Schlatters. But with the correct training plan you can successfully manage your Osgood and gradually eliminate the pain completely. When done well, this process takes only a few short weeks.
Throughout The Secret to Curing Osgood Schlatters seven week training program be guided through the exercises, warm up methods and recovery instructions to get you back to sport as quickly as possible, we also provide the methods and tools to create consistency in your training week for strong, pain free knees.
In seven short weeks, eliminate your Osgood Schlatters and return to sport pain free and stronger than ever.
More from the Osgood Blog
Advice and experience to help manage your Osgood.
It’s more than just a growing condition, we delve into the reasons your knees hurt
The Secret to Curing Osgood Schlatters
Rest is not enough, and there is no magic pill. But Osgood isn’t as hard to cure as you might think.
Seven Week Osgood Training Program