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Growing Pains

Knee-Strap_jks99_R_1d788c0aGymnastics is a physically intensive sport, frequently begun at an early age, and practiced throughout the years a child’s body is maturing into its adult form. Putting the demands of gymnastics training and performance onto a growing body can sometimes result in orthopedic pain. While this post can’t replace a diagnosis from a medical professional, we’d like to discuss a couple of conditions that are common in the gymnastics community and offer some sports medicine products that can help alleviate the pain associated with Sever’s Disease and Osgood-Schlatter Disease.

Sever’s Disease affects the heel. More specifically, it is an inflammation at the growth plate where the achilles tendon attaches to the heel. Until a child reaches skeletal maturity, growth plates remain open and are more vulnerable to injury.

The name “Sever’s Disease” makes it sound scarier than it usually is. Sever’s Disease is an injury that stems from overuse in a physically active child. For the most part, it’s self-recovering and young athletes can find relief in RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) and sports medicine appliances that take some of the stress off of the area and help reduce inflammation.

Sports medicine products that serve to relieve heel strike pain include the different versions of a heel cup on the  “Ankle and Heel” page under “Sports Medicine Supplies” on our website. Heel cups can be inserted into your everyday shoes and used with your tumbling shoes or the various braces and socks on the same page. Pairing them with a compression sock is a great way to get the support, stabilization and inflammation reduction of compression gear while holding your heel cup where you need it.

Osgood-Schlatter is said to be the Sever’s of the knee, in that it is an overuse injury that causes pain in young athletes ages 10 -15 around the time of a growth spurt prior to skeletal maturity. Your gymnast exhibiting symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter will feel pain at the growth plate of the knee where the tendons attach the tibia at the top of the shinbone just under the knee cap. Both Severs and Osgood-Schlatter are gradual onset injuries with rhythms that are in sync with athletic seasons and training. If your child’s pain is acute and sudden, your physician will look toward trauma and an avulsion (tearing away) type injury when diagnosing and proposing treatment options.

As with Sever’s, Osgood-Schlatter is generally self-recovering with the help of RICE. To get the C for compression, Gymnasts and athletes can find relief using an individual counterforce knee strap or gel buttress support under the knee offered in our longer brace. Our knee pain relief products are available in the “Knee and Shin” section under “Sports Medicine Supplies” on our website.

A little TLC and your gymnast’s growth plate pain should be right as rain!


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