Returning to sport after Osgood Schlatter Disease

You have put in the work and your knees are feeling amazing. It’s time to return to sport.

Finally, you have put in the work, built your strength and your knees are feeling the best they ever have. It’s time to return to sport.

This moment is a key fork in the road.

One path returns you to sport smoothly, never to suffer from Osgood pain again.

The other… a dive straight back to full sporting loads the minute your knees are pain free. Only a few short weeks later your knees blow up again and the Osgood returns, possibly worse than last time.

Getting the balance right in the first few weeks as you return to sport is crucial. The body takes time to develop the specific fitness required for high intensity sprinting, jumping and agility.

It takes patience and a little planning to successfully return to sports, and importantly: stay returned.

There is no exact answer to how to do this reload as it varies by sport, age, experience level, and individual context. Our typical advice is to be more conservative than you would prefer. Each week aim to do just a little more than the last, and adjust as you go.

Load managment and ramping smoothly

The key to getting back to sport (and staying back) is all about paying attention to how much activity you do, how intense it is and how much it changes over the weeks. This is known as load management and it is a super important concept in sports science, especially at the professional level. As a Strength and Conditioning coach load managment is one of my most important responsibilities to my athletes.

The basic idea underpinning load management is that the nervous system, muscles, bones, joints and tendons in our body adapt to the amount and type of training we do. Lift weights and we get strong, practice jumping and we become more springy, do lots of gymnastics and we improve our balance and flexibility.

(On the other hand if we are sitting on the sidelines these qualities will gradually fade, this is known as detraining.)

Our bodies can only adapt to training demands so fast. We have an upper limit to the amount of training we can do, especially high intensity training like sprinting, jumping and team sports.

Training load and its effect on Osgood Schlatters
Our bodies can only handle so much training stress, especially high intensity work like basketball, soccer, tennis, dancing etc.

If we push our bodies too hard, we can create what is called a stress response. Stress responses could be as minor as fatigue that lasts a few days (say after a big tournament) or as serious as a stress fracture, shin splints, and tendon based injuries like jumpers knee or Osgood Schlatter Disease.

You don’t need to turn pro or hire your own personal sports scientist to apply some simple load management principles and avoid these negative outcomes.

Here are our two most important load management tips while returning to sport after Osgood Shlatter.

No new or random activities

If you are struggling with Osgood, starting a new type of training activity is a very bad idea, even if they appear to be “low impact”. Cycling, swimming, and other forms of cross training are totally fine for healthy athletes to experiment with. But if you have never done these and are currently suffering from Osgood Schlatter they are unlikely to have a positive effect.

Intensity last

Add higher intensity activities like sprinting, agility, jumping and landing last in your return to sport. Start with small doses or easy efforts then dial up the intensity and volume incrementally over weeks.

Controlled agility work for osgood schlatters
Begin with easy controlled activities and build volume and intensity slowly over many weeks

Building the perfect Osgood plan

Our Osgood program has been developed over a decade, and has helped over three thousand athletes all over the world get back to sport fast. There is so much that goes into a successful return to sport that cannot fit in a blog post. If you do have Ogsood Schlatter currently I absolutely encourage you to check it out.

You can learn more about the program at this link.

Safe and effective training programs to relieve knee and heel pain caused by Osgood and Severs

All programs are supported by our money back guarantee, online support group and lifetime access.
Complete the program in a few minutes each day from the comfort of your own home.
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Osgood Schlatters treatment program

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A severs disease treatment training program

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