Two very common childhood problems:
OSGOOD-SCHLATTER’S DISEASE (SYNDROME)
This “disease” most commonly occurs in boys aged 10-18, though girls can have it too. It occurs when the area where the patella (knee) tendon attaches to the tibia (lower leg) bone is under too much stress and becomes inflamed or it pulls so hard on the insertion at the bone that it actually ruptures. This pain, as common as it is especially during a child’s growth spurt, is very unnecessary. And the fact that conventional medicine takes the “do nothing but ice and rest” approach because it usually resolves within 1-2 years (!!) makes it very frustrating for an active kid to participate in sports due to the pain.
Physical therapists and the medial community understand that it is often due to an imbalance between the quadriceps and hamstrings muscles, but they still have this idea that a muscle that is “weaker” needs more exercise and a muscle that is working too hard (stronger) needs to be stretched. Well, those imbalances don’t improve at all with that perspective because the imbalance is neurological – those muscles surrounding the knee are out of balance front to back and sometimes inside to outside for various reasons; it’s different for each kid. It could be due to another injury in the leg, or opposite leg. It could be from improper footwear. It could be from a dietary condition as the quadriceps are related to the small intestine. Food allergies can and often cause this imbalance. Yes, I’m saying that eating something the child is allergic to can cause this syndrome; I’ve seen it plenty of times. I’ve helped kids resolve their Osgood-Schlatter “Disease” quickly, sometimes within one treatment (one hour) by finding out exactly what their imbalance is. Kids are told to deal with it until they outgrow it. Although most will, it keeps them from performing as well as they should, and some kids can’t play the sports they want because of the pain. Some adults still have “weak knees” because of this syndrome. It’s unnecessary. I don’t think Dr. Osgood and Dr. Schlatter knew this way back in 1903.
Scoliosis, for those who are unfamiliar with the term, is a curvature of the spine from side to side. Chiropractors often help with preventing scoliosis and reversing or at least stopping its progression. Specific chiropractic adjustments to spinal vertebra may be beneficial. Certain exercises can also be performed to tone the back muscles and lessen scoliosis. Often there is muscular component to scoliosis that is due to a nutritional/hormonal imbalance. When the muscles on one side of the spine become too tight and those on the opposite side don’t respond, then the spine will curve or pull to the side that is too tight. This may occur due to a previous injury or from something causing the spine to respond in such a way. There is actually a very strong correlation between copper (too much) and scoliosis. Copper is a mineral needed by the body but if levels accumulate too high, then the excess copper can result in spinal scoliosis. Copper is a nutrient that likes to hang out with the hormone estrogen, so as estrogen levels [abnormally] increase, then copper goes along with it. This is why scoliosis is more common in women than men, and often occurs in girls as they begin puberty. Most girls are not properly detoxifying estrogen due to poor nutrition and estrogen exposure from cosmetics and foods (chicken, dairy), so they start to become estrogen dominant as their liver can’t keep up with the hormone. So high estrogen = high copper = scoliosis. Personally I’d say this is the most common reason for scoliosis, though not the only reason.
Roberto Picos says
Nice article. Would you send me some articles about the relation between copper and scoliosis if you had? Thanks
Thank you. I know I have something somewhere but I did a quick “copper and scoliosis” search and came up with the following. I actually didn’t realize this study was out there, going back 30+ years ago. But docs such as myself have seen the clinical correlation of copper with spine issues for some time now.
Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1980 May-Jun;5(3):230-3.
Elevated hair copper level in idiopathic scoliosis: preliminary observations.
Pratt WB, Phippen WG.
Hair samples were collected from 74 patients with idiopathic adolescent scoliosis and from 25 control children and were analyzed for content of the following minerals: copper, sodium, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, cadmium, calcium, and manganese. The hair copper level of the scoliotic children was significantly higher than that of the controls. The scoliosis mean was 6.5 micrograms/dl and the control mean was 3.6 micrograms/dl, P less than 0.025. There was no correlation between the amount of hair copper and the severity of the scoliosis. The authors suggest that copper may be a factor in the development of scoliosis since it is part of the lysyl oxidase enzymes that are required for cross-linking of collagen and elastin. Another connection is that postpubertal girls have higher copper levels than boys and also have a greater severity of scoliosis.
PMID: 7394662 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
stretching helps a lot with osgood schlatters and helped me through some fot the pain. Also the usual RICE treatment
RICE I would agree with (Rest, Ice, Compression – Elevation probably not as much). Can’t agree with stretching especially in this case. If you have OSD then you have significant stress on the patellar tendon, often resulting in an avulsion fracture – no way would you want to stretch those muscles and further pull on the tendon attaching to your tibia where the fracture is – you want it to heal.
Clayton Stitzel DC says
Hello Dr. Gangemi,
Do you have any thoughts on the importance of selenium in regards to helping lower osteopontin levels in adolesent scoliosis patients? Thanks.
I don’t and am not sure of the actual connection between osteopontin and scoliosis.
Clayton Stitzel DC says
From the patent for the soon-to-be-released (hopefully) scoliosis blood test……
“The present invention also encompasses the monitoring of the biomarkers disclosed herein to assess the efficacy of numerous approaches to prevent scoliosis and curve progression such as any physical therapies (e.g. postural exercises, physiotherapies, biomechanical stimulations by manipulation or using specific devices e.g. vibrant plates); the monitoring of bracing efficacy or development of novel braces; the monitoring of new surgical devices with or without fusion of vertebras, and the monitoring of the efficacy of specific diet, nutraceutical and/or pharmacological treatments.
Without being so limited, the first measure after the braces have been applied could be performed 1 month later to determine for instance whether the braces are well adjusted and determine whether the patient is compliant to the scoliosis treatment. Thereafter, the monitoring could be performed every three to six months depending on whether high OPN levels are detected or not. This method of the present invention may advantageously reduces the requirement for x-rays. X-rays could be performed for instance only at visits where OPN levels detected are too high.
Any amount of a pharmaceutical and/or nutraceutical and/or dietary supplement compositions can be administered to a subject. The dosages will depend on many factors including the mode of administration. Typically, the amount of anti-scoliosis composition (e.g. osteopontin inhibitor or selenium compound) contained within a single dose will be an amount that effectively prevents, delays or reduces scoliosis without inducing significant toxicity “therapeutically effective amount”.
 In some embodiments, the therapeutically effective amount of the neutraceutical anti-scoliosis composition (e.g. selenium supplement) can be altered. Useful effective amount concentrations include amounts ranging from about 0.01% to about 10% of a total diet on a weight by weight basis, from about 1% to about 6% of a total diet on a weight by weight basis, or from about 02% to about 6% of a total diet on a weight by weight basis.
 The effective amount of the osteopontin inhibitor or selenium compound may also be measured directly. The effective amount may be given daily or weekly or fractions thereof. Typically, a pharmaceutical and/or nutraceutical and/or dietary supplement composition of the invention can be administered in an amount from about 0.001 mg up to about 500 mg per kg of body weight per day (e.g., 10 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg, or 250 mg). Dosages may be provided in either a single or multiple dosage regimen. For example, in some embodiments the effective amount is a dose that ranges from about 1 mg to about 25 grams of the anti-scoliose preparation per day, about 50 mg to about 10 grams of the anti-scoliose preparation per day, from about 100 mg to about 5 grams of the anti-scoliose preparation per day, about 1 gram of the anti-scoliose preparation per day, about 1 mg to about 25 grams of the anti-scoliose preparation per week, about 50 mg to about 10 grams of the anti-scoliose preparation per week, about 100 mg to about 5 grams of the anti-scoliose preparation every other day, and about 1 gram of the anti-scoliose preparation once a week.
 By way of example, a pharmaceutical (e.g. containing an osteopontin inhibitor) and/or nutraceutical (e.g. containing selenium) and/or dietary supplement (e.g. containing selenium) composition of the invention can be in the form of a liquid, solution, suspension, pill, capsule, tablet, gelcap, powder, gel, ointment, cream, nebulae, mist, atomized vapor, aerosol, or phytosome. For oral administration, tablets or capsules can be prepared by conventional means with at least one pharmaceutically acceptable excipient such as binding agents, fillers, lubricants, disintegrants, or wetting agents. The tablets can be coated by methods known in the art. Liquid preparations for oral administration can take the form of, for example, solutions, syrups, or suspension, or they can be presented as a dry product for constitution with saline or other suitable liquid vehicle before use. Dietary supplements of the invention also can contain pharmaceutically acceptable additives such as suspending agents, emulsifying agents, non-aqueous vehicles, preservatives, buffer salts, flavoring, coloring, and sweetening agents as appropriate. Preparations for oral administration also can be suitably formulated to give controlled release of the active ingredients.
Selenium concentration was reported to be significantly decreased in plasma of AIS patients (42). Selenium and more specifically Se-methylselenocystein, an
organoselenium naturally occurring in diet, are used to prevent metastasis in breast cancer as chemopreventive therapy by targeting OPN transcription (43-45).
 Plasma selenium concentration was thus measured in pediatric populations (AIS vs. healthy controls) to determine whether or not low selenium levels correlate with higher OPN concentrations in AIS. Plasma selenium concentrations were determined by a fluorometric method using 2,3-diaminonaphthalene (DAN) (46, 47). Results presented in Figures 18 and 19 show a correlation between high OPN levels and low selenium levels in scoliotic and asymptomatic at risk children.”.
I have the same problem of Osgood, but I’m really worried because I’ve had it since I was around 13 and I’m 17 years old. I went to my docter while I was 13 and he said that I kinda like grew too fast and I had to stop every physical activities for 2 weeks but it didn’t help I still have a bump on my knee which got bigger and I also have pain in my ankle but that happens when I stand a long time or train.
Look for a natural doc or therapist who can help you out with that.
OK, thanks :)
sherri watring says
I never had or was diagnosed with scoliosis until 4 years after an ankle injury at work..the insurance company fought for two years not to pay for reconstruction of my ankle,so I whore boots and cast for two years while working in a lumber mill. i shifted all my weight to the left favoring my right because of all the tendons in my right ankle were gone it would pop out of socket just with the weight of a boot. after 4 surgeries and getting it fixed i went back to work and 2 years later my left knee blew the ACL and tore it up bad , so for a year not wanting to go threw surgery again i worked on it till i no longer felt safe to do my job,,they did an MRI my Doc immediately sent me to a surgeon, My ACL was gone nothing there..so now they say I have 2 curves in my spine caused by my injuries have there been studies on this…
any ideas on the following group of symptoms or conditions – i am a 19 yr old male – barrel chest, kyphosis, osgood schlessor, biclavicle ribs & back pain?
Not specifically w/o seeing you though I think you’d sure want to rule out auto-immune problems for a start.
My 11 yr old daughter was diagnosed with sever’s disease by her Pediatric Dr. X-ray does not show any issues. She also has flat feet. She goes to a physical therapy in 2 weeks and sees a military podiatrist in a month. Do you have suggestions on what we can do to correct these issues naturally? Thank you!
Dr. Stephen Gangemi says
The soleus muscle need to be evaluated which often requires a doc/therapist skilled in manual therapy techniques. I also have videos on the sock-doc site on how to look and treat trigger points in those muscles.
What specific protocol did you use to treat OS? My son was given the same song and dance you mentioned in the post from docs. He’s an active athlete and sometimes the pain is severe. He did one round of Prolotherapy, but he could deal with the anxiety of another session. Thanks in advance.
Dr. Stephen Gangemi says
It’s never a set protocol/treatment for every person. In some I’ve seen connective tissue/muscular imbalances that needed to be treated via certain manual therapy techniques. Others it has been nutrient imbalances such as calcium, vitamin D, and even fatty acid deficiencies.
Kori Cunningham says
My son who is 14 has been dealing with his Osgood-Schlatters Disease for the past year with no relief and was just diagnosed with mild scoliosis. Should I been more concerned since he has both??
Dr. Stephen Gangemi says
I’d suggest you look for a wholistic physician who can evaluate and treat him.
FeLesia Newberry says
My son as 13 years old when diagnosed with Osgood Schlatter Disease and at 15 he had an xray and was told he had mild scoliosis. His back pain led to the xray. My son at 15 is 6’4″, 305 lbs, and is still growing. What is going on?
Dr. Stephen Gangemi says
Sorry I can’t give personal advice without seeing him.