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“My son started complaining of having sore knees at night I’m not sure why because he didn’t fall or hurt himself. What should I do?”
image source: http://www.osgood-schlatter-disease.com
Growing Teens: a quick Anatomy lesson
Most growth spurts occur from ages 10-16. During growth spurts bones grow at a fast rate and muscles struggle to keep up. As a result, teens in growth spurts look quite tall and skinny and have tight stiff muscles.
A knee condition can develop during this growth spurt phase called Osgoods Schlatters Disease. What happens is the muscles around the knee can’t keep up with the growing bones. The muscles and tendons start pulling on the bottom of the knee just below the knee cap and it hurts. The knee gets tight and sore making a throbbing or ache sensation which is what your teen is complaining of.
Good news, your teen is growing to be big and tall. Celebrate that this and keep feeding your growing teen. As for the knee aches, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. With time your teen’s muscles will catch up to the rest of the body and the knee aches will subside. It usually takes 6-12 months Osgoods to go away.
If your teen is really active with sports and activities it can aggravate the Osgoods condition. Your teen might complain more after soccer training or PE at school. As long as your teen can withstand the pain it’s ok to continue. You are at no risk of damaging anything in the knee joint it is perfectly safe. The pain will come and go with activity and this is normal.
To help your teen get through this somewhat painful part of growth you can do a few things such as:
1. Icing: Put a bag of ice on the knees to give pain relief
2. Stretching: Help the tight muscles loosen up with stretching exercises
3. Don’t play so many sports: Cut back on training and sporting days. Try 2 days a week rather than 5 days a week
4. Rest: Stay home, rest, sleep, take it easy. Let your teens body grow.
When to worry
Not all knee pain is growth related Osgoods Schallters Disease. If your teen is complaining of really sharp pain that never settles it is wise to seek professional advice from a knee specialist or therapist specializing in knee pain.
image source: http://www.osgood-schlatter-disease.com/blog/tag/osgood-schlatters-diease/ & wikipedia.
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