Yoga and Osgood-Schlatter syndrome
By Kreg Weiss, B HKin • August 3rd, 2008 • 8009 Views
Protecting the Knees During Your Yoga Practice
Osgood-Schlatter syndrome (also known as tibial tuberosity apophysitis) is a knee condition that tends to affect about 13% of teenagers. This condition is prevalent in those who experience rapid growth spurts and typically who participate in high levels of physical activity (note: this condition appears to be more prevalent in boys than girls).
Osgood-Schlatter syndrome is believed to occur as a combination of a combination of a genetic and an overuse condition where the quadriceps tendon fails to develop as quickly as the lengthening bone. This creates a tightening effect of the quadriceps tendon and generates an excessive pulling force on the boney process just below the knee (tibial tuberosity). As a result of this excessive pulling force, the tibial tuberosity can experience inflammation that leads to tenderness or pain. Given that high levels of physical activity can shorten muscles, repetitive force loads like running can increase the risk of developing this syndrome.
Typically, with proper treatment and preventive care, Osgood-Schlatter syndrome will subside in the teen years. However, I had seen some young adults still experience problems with discomfort and pain years past this period of rapid bone growth. For young adults and teenagers with this condition, Yoga can be a challenging practice as many yoga poses are positioned directly on the knees, which can be painful and even possibly aggravate the condition further.
The first priorty with Osgood-Schlatter syndrome is to get it properly diagnosed by a health professional.
Some common symptoms with this condition:
*inflammation and swelling over the tibial tuberosity
*skin over the tibial tuberosity is red and also inflamed
*pain is experienced in the knee during running, climbing stairs, or high impact activities
*pain subsides with rest
Common remedies for Osgood-Schlatter:
*rest and ice to reduce inflammation and pain
*padding and knee protection where the pain and irritation occur the most
*proper and consistent stretching of the quadriceps, hamstring, and calf muscles
*avoiding high impact activities and exploring cross training methods of exercise to reduce the incidence of chronic loading of the quadriceps muscles