Is your child or adolescent a sports enthusiast who enjoys playing football, rugby, hockey, cricket, and a host of other sports? Although participation is always great fun and a perfect way to stay fit, there can be likely side-effects especially as your child grows.  If your child or adolescent has been complaining of pain in the knee joint or in the heal of the foot they may be suffering from Osgood-Schlatter disease or Sever’s disease.

You could confuse your child or adolescents’ knee or heal pain with growing pains but often there is a cause and Osgood-Schlatter disease and Sever’s disease are common in growing children who partake in impact sport.  Seeing an osteopath will help to correctly identify the issue and to confirm a diagnosis. Osteopathy can help to relieve the pain associated with Osgood-Schlatter disease and Sever’s disease and we can give advice and exercises to help.

What is Osgood-Schlatter disease?

Children and adolescents get Osgood-Schlatter disease when they play sports that put repeated stress on the patellar tendon. There are certain activities, running and jumping, that cause your leg muscles to pull the patellar tendon, which pulls on the growth plate.

Osgood-Schlatter disease is a condition that causes pain and swelling below the knee joint, where the patellar tendon attaches to the top of the shinbone (tibia), a spot called the tibial tuberosity. There may also be inflammation of the patellar tendon, which stretches over the kneecap.

The causes of Osgood-Schlatter disease are repeated stress on the patellar tendon. This is most often because of sports, especially sport that require a lot of running and jumping which require more use of your leg muscles which would pull on the tendon increasing the chances of someone developing Osgood-Schlatter disease. The most likely people risk of this are growing children who play lots of sports such as Football, Basketball and gymnastics being a few examples of the types of sports children play where it is more common.

If you play sports and have Osgood-Schlatter disease it can be helpful to wear shock absorbing shoes, put a walm cloth on the knee for 15 minuets before playing sports and then ice on for 15 minuets after playing sports, wear protective kneepads and make sure to stretch before and after playing the sport.

What Is Sever’s Disease?

Sever’s disease is a swelling and irritation of the growth plate in the heel. The growth plate is a layer of cartilage near the end of a bone where most of the bone’s growth happens. It is weaker and more at risk of injury than the rest of the bone. Sever’s Disease affects the growth plate at the back of the heel which can remain vulnerable until the child is fully grown where the growth plates then become replaced by solid bone.

Lots of heel pain in growing children comes as a result of Sever’s Disease and especially linking to sports and physical activities. Sever’s disease is common during growth spurts when stress is put onto the heel as the muscles, tendons and bones in the child’s leg grows.

In order to help reduce pain and treat Server’s Disease it is important to try and reduce the swelling or inflammation. This can be done by placing an ice pack over the heel after physical activities. Osteopathy is also very effective at reducing symptoms combining hands-on treatment with a number of different stretches and exercises can greatly decrease the amount of pain the child will experience in the area that is affected.

How can we help?

With Osgood-Schlatter disease and Sever’s disease rest is really important, but osteopathy can help by reducing pressure on the growth plate from structures around the knee or heel, especially tight calf muscles. Good quality, supportive shoes are also important, and stretches can be helpful.

Hands-on treatment, such as osteopathy, may allow for your child’s symptoms to reduce during periods of pain episodes and allow them to continue their activity in some capacity. Specific exercises and stretches may also help with the management of the area affected relieving pain and helping your child to recover over time.

If you would like to talk to us about Osgood-Schlatter disease and Sever’s disease, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0127054499 or email us at  You can also book appointments online at