Growing pain

Have your kids got growing pains?

Osgood Schlatterdisease is an injury where the bony prominence at the top of the shin become sirritated and inflamed as a result of repetitive strain during adolescence.This occurs with training overload, is more common in boys and can be a persistent cause of anterior knee pain throughout pre teen and early teenage years.


During adolescence each tissue has a growth capacity, however different tissues grow at different rates. Squatting, jumping and running are activities that may cause overload during this stage of life.


Typically, this condition will present with tenderness at the top of the shin increased pain with squatting, stairs or jumping, and occasionally a bony prominence may format the top of the shin.


Load management is key for this condition, making sure there are no spikes or dips in training volumes.


Active treatments include symptom modification modalities such as stretching, taping, massage/foam rolling and occasionally prescription of medication i.e. anti inflammatories. Carefully prescribed strength training that fits in with a young athlete’s training plan is also recommended, however this should be prescribed at the discretion of a qualified health professional - like us!

Sinding-Larsen-Johannson (SLJ) Syndrome affects the patella tendon at its attachment to the bottom of the knee cap and occurs mainly during adolescence/growth spurtst ages. It is associated with localised pain that is made worse with exercise.


It typically occurs between the ages of 10 and 15 years old and is common in sports that require a lot of jumping and squatting.


The location of pain is slightly different to Osgood Schlatters however the pathological process is fairly similar. Symptoms include anterior knee pain made worse with stairs, squatting, kneeling, jumping and running. It will be painful to touch the bottom of the knee cap.


Treatment involves a combination of medically prescribed anti inflammatories, education regarding load management and activity modification. Graded mobility and a strengthening program that’s aimed at targeting any deficits contributing to overload of the knee are also important! This may be localised to the knee or at distal and peripheral joints i.e. hip and ankle.


A careful criteria for return to sport should be encouraged aiming for pain free full range of motion, isolated strength testing followed by functional return to sport testing.