Acupuncture for Osgood-Schlatter Disease

If you have an active growing child with knee pain, he/she/they has probably been diagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter disease, which is actually an overuse injury, not a disease. In addition to common treatments such as, resting, icing, and stretching, acupuncture is an effective way to relieve the pain.

Osgood-Schlatter can be very painful with activity. The thigh muscles (quadriceps) pull on the tendon that connects the kneecap to the growth plate at the top part of the shinbone or tibial tuberosity.

Repeated stress with activity, such as running and/or jumping sports, can cause the tendon to pull on the growth plate where the tendon inserts into the shinbone, resulting in the pain and swelling.

To relieve the pain, the quadriceps need to be loosened to decrease the pull on the tendon. The quadriceps are formed by 4 individual muscles; vastus medialis, vastus intermedius, vastus lateralis, and rectus femoris.

Acupuncture loosens each of these muscles by inserting needles into the trigger points to quickly release the muscle.  Other muscles around the knees should also be released such as the shins, calves and hamstrings.

Osgood-Schlatter disease usually completely resolves once the child has stopped growing. In the meantime, acupuncture can reduce the pain and swelling while your child maintains his/her/their activity. (April 2018)

Mary Nickel, L.Ac.