As children enter a rapid growth period, a lot of stress is placed on their bodies. Sometimes children will suffer from what people call growing pains, but these are only temporary aches and should not be confused with the very painful growth pain called Osgood Schlatter’s Disease. Children who suffer from it tend to be very active and between the ages of 12 and 18. If you want to continue to run despite the pain, the following steps should help you.
Go to a doctor or to determine if your problem really is Osgood Schlatter’s Disease. In some cases the pain can feel very similar to that of a more serious problem or something that requires surgery.
Find a good surface to run on that will minimize the impact to your knees. Many times teens will want to run through their neighborhood or around a track at school. Both of these options can prove to be pretty painful to your knees because the surface is so hard. If you are going to run in these places because they are both convenient and practical for running a few miles, try running on the grass near the edge of the sidewalk or the track. If you are a very serious runner, run on trails because they are much softer and easier on your joints.
Buy shoes that are properly fitted to your feet. The fit should specifically address the use you have in mind for them, i.e., running outside for track or cross country, or inside for basketball or indoor track. Often parents buy their children shoes a half size too large so they can get more wear out of them or because the size they really need is not available. In many cases that is not a problem, but if you are a runner and have knee problems, this is not acceptable. Shoes should be bought specifically for running. Shoes that properly fit will support your knees and feet perfectly, and will minimize the stress from the activity. Look for a specialty store that provides expert fitting.
Buy a knee brace or knee sleeve to support the knee. Keep pressure on the knee tissue to minimize swelling and to prevent the knee from rolling toward the weakened direction. You can purchase one of these knee supports at a drug store, sports store or from your doctor. Some children need more support than others, and they should wear the brace more often.
Listen to your body. Nobody knows how you are feeling and what your body can take better than you. You cannot push yourself past a certain level if you have Osgood Schlatter’s Disease, because you will cause even greater pain and possibly create a more severe problem. Many times a physician will order complete rest for a month or more, which means no sports participation and a knee brace worn constantly, if not crutches. When your body hurts badly, you need to give it a rest. When your knee swells, it is a signal that what you are doing is harmful.
Tips & Warnings
- You can also buy knee straps to provide support for your knees.
- If you knee is getting very red and swollen, stop physical activity, rest and apply ice to your knee.