What exercises can help manage Osgood-Schlatter Disease?

on April 14, 2024

Osgood-Schlatter Disease (OSD) is a common condition among active youngsters, especially during growth spurts. It causes pain and swelling just below the knee, making physical activities challenging. Fortunately, with the right exercises and supportive gear like patella straps and knee braces, managing OSD becomes more manageable.


Understanding Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Before diving into exercises and supportive gear, let's understand OSD. This condition occurs when the tendon below the kneecap (patellar tendon) becomes inflamed where it attaches to the shinbone (tibia). Adolescents, particularly those involved in activities like running, jumping, and sports, are more prone to OSD. It typically affects boys aged 12 to 15 and girls aged 8 to 12, coinciding with growth spurts.


Symptoms of OSD

- Pain and swelling below the kneecap
- Tenderness over the tibial tubercle (bony bump below the knee)
- Worsening pain with activities like running, jumping, or climbing stairs


Benefits of Exercises

Regular exercises can help manage OSD symptoms and improve knee strength and flexibility. These exercises target the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and core muscles. Before starting any exercise program, consult with a healthcare provider or physical therapist.

1. Quadriceps Stretch
- Stand and hold onto a wall or chair for balance.
- Bend one knee, bringing your heel toward your buttocks.
- Hold the ankle with your hand, gently pulling it closer to your buttocks.
- Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs.

2. Hamstring Stretch
- Sit on the floor with one leg extended and the other bent.
- Lean forward from your hips, reaching towards your toes.
- Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs.

3. Straight Leg Raises
- Lie on your back with one leg bent and the other straight.
- Tighten your thigh muscle of the straight leg and lift it to the height of the bent knee.
- Hold for a few seconds, then lower it back down.
- Repeat 10 times for each leg.

4. Wall Sits
- Lean against a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Slide down until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

5. Stationary Bike
- Cycling on a stationary bike can help improve knee strength and flexibility.
- Start with 5-10 minutes and gradually increase the duration as tolerated.


The Role of Patella Straps and Knee Braces

Patella straps and knee braces are supportive devices that can help manage OSD symptoms by reducing stress on the patellar tendon. Here's how they work:

- Patella Straps: These are bands worn just below the kneecap. They apply pressure to the patellar tendon, redistributing forces and reducing strain. Patella straps can be particularly helpful during physical activities like running or jumping.
- Knee Braces: Knee braces provide additional support and stability to the knee joint. They can be especially beneficial for individuals with OSD, as they help control movement and reduce discomfort during activities. There are different types of knee braces, including sleeve braces, wraparound braces, and hinged braces. Your healthcare provider can recommend the most suitable type for your condition.


Managing Osgood-Schlatter Disease involves a combination of exercises and supportive gear like patella straps and knee braces. These tools can significantly alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life for those affected by OSD. Remember to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program or using supportive devices. With the right approach, individuals with OSD can continue to stay active and enjoy their favorite activities.



Knee Brace


Patella Strap


Elbow Brace


Elbow Sleeve