The strenuousness of competing in track and field events makes youth athletes prone to many types of injuries. Among the most common and, unfortunately, most severe is Osgood-Schlatter disease. This condition impacts youth track runners at a young age and can derail their career. Here is what you need to know about it.
Understanding Osgood-Schlatter And Track Runners
Osgood-Schlatter is an overuse disease caused in track runners who are running or practicing excessively. It causes a painful bump on the upper shin, just below the knee. The bump will be visible on the skin and will be painful to the touch. It will also make it very hard to run and even walk, depending on the severity of the disease.
Studies have shown that this condition affects about 13% of all athletes and is typical after a growth spurt. It is most common in girls in the 10-11 age group, while 13-14 year old boys are most commonly affected. It impacts athletes in all sports, including track athletes.
The Impact On Track Athletes
This disease is often considered one of the five most common problems that impacts track athletes. When it develops, it will make it more difficult for track athletes to compete. It can easily impact their form, decrease their competitiveness, and impact their performance in other sports. Unfortunately, competing in track events is likely to only increase the severity of the problem.
So while it is possible to continue running events when this condition develops, it's best to stop and treat it immediately. No gold medal is worth the kind of pain that this condition can cause. Thankfully, it is possible to treat this problem, but it will take some time.
The sad truth about Osgood-Schlatter disease is that it might cause track runners to miss an entire season or even two. It takes about six to 24 months to treat the pain of this condition, meaning two years of competition could be lost. However, if a runner gets off their feet immediately and starts treating it, they can minimize lost time by treating it with a variety of techniques.
For example, severe swelling and pain requires an ice pack applied directly to the impacted area for at least 20 minutes a day. Knee immobilization, including a support brace, might be necessary in some cases. Straight leg stretches are also used to increase the strength and flexibility of the area.
Treating this condition at home is possible, but it's best to talk to a physical therapist, an orthopaedic surgeon, or a sports medicine expert as soon as possible. They can help streamline the process and make it more effective.Share
7 July 2016
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