Kids who play competitive sports during growth spurts may be prone to knee problems known as Osgood-Schlatter disease. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
Slow the motion
Avoid excessive sports activity or exercise that might aggravate the disease
Get extra antioxidants
Take 400 IU a day of vitamin E and 150 mcg a day of selenium to help the healing
Chill the pain
Apply ice regularly to the painful area to reduce inflammation
About This Condition
Osgood-Schlatter disease is a form of osteochondrosis, a disease of the growth center at the end of long bones. The disease occurs in adolescence, most commonly among 10- to 15-year-old boys, and is often the result of rapid growth combined with competitive sports that overstress the knee joint. The patellar tendon, which attaches the kneecap to the tibia, is sometimes strained and partially torn from the bone by the powerful quadriceps muscles. This tearing, called avulsion, may be extremely painful and is sometimes disabling. It may occur in one or both knees. The knee is usually tender to pressure at the point where the large tendon from the kneecap attaches to the prominence below.
People with Osgood-Schlatter disease experience tenderness, swelling, and pain just below one knee that usually worsens with activity, such as going up or down stairs, and is relieved by rest. Symptoms may also include the appearance of a bony bump below the knee cap that is especially painful when pressed.
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150 mcg a day with 400 IU a day of vitamin E
Based on the personal experience of a doctor who reported his findings,1 some physicians recommend vitamin E (400 IU per day) and selenium (50 mcg three times per day). One well-known, nutritionally oriented doctor reports anecdotally that he has had considerable success with this regimen and often sees results in two to six weeks.2
400 IU a day with 150 mcg a day of selenium
Based on the personal experience of a doctor who reported his findings,3 some physicians recommend vitamin E (400 IU per day) and selenium (50 mcg three times per day). One well-known, nutritionally oriented doctor reports anecdotally that he has had considerable success with this regimen and often sees results in two to six weeks.4
Manganese, Vitamin B6, and Zinc
Refer to label instructions
Another group of doctors has reported good results using a combination of zinc, manganese, and vitamin B6 for people with Osgood-Schlatter disease; however, the amounts of these supplements were not mentioned in the report.5 Most physicians would consider reasonable daily amounts of these nutrients for adolescents to be 15 mg of zinc, 5 to 10 mg of manganese, and 25 mg of vitamin B6. Larger amounts might be used with medical supervision.
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1. Reich, CJ. Vitamin E, selenium, and knee problems. Lancet 1976;i:257 [letter].
2. Wright JW. Personal correspondence, April 1997.
3. Reich, CJ. Vitamin E, selenium, and knee problems. Lancet 1976;i:257 [letter].
4. Wright JW. Personal correspondence, April 1997.
5. Aston B. Manganese and man. J Orthomolec Psychiatry 1980;9:237–49.
The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2014.
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