Daily Mobility Exercises by Dr. Kelly Starrett Forums General HUGE Osgood-Schlatters Bump. What To Attack First?

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    • #70541
      Avatar[email protected]

      Long time weight lifter here, I’ve had osgood-schlatters since I was 15 and I’m now 27. It’s a very very large nasty bump, which every PT or DR I see says is easily the biggest they’ve ever seen. My squat form has been bad, but I’ve made great gains over the years. Now I can hardly hit legs because of my pain. I know my form is all out of whack, and my mobility is possible worst. I’ve been trying to watch some videos at work, but I really need an all around “plan” to attack this issue as a whole.

      I know for sure I have:
      – bad hip mobility
      – overly tight quads
      – bad ankle flexibility
      – butt-wink

      At 185lbs I was squatting 405lbs ATG with this bad form… which is what put me where I am today.

      Any ideas?

    • #73038

      Good to hear you are improving your squat technique.
      Pro Episode #5 – Knee Stability and Laxity
      Pro Episode #20 – Dealing With That Horror Show Bump On Your Knee/Osgood Schlatter
      Spine first as the spine is the carriage or chasse for the primary engines of the shoulder and hip.
      Disorganized at the pelvis hip function is decreased.
      Changing the position is the way to improve the function.
      Carl Paoli, GWOD, has a great video on blocking movements for quality squats.
      Blocking Movement for Quality Squats

    • #73060
      Avatar[email protected]

      thanks Kaitlin. I’m going to check all of those out. I watched the Osgood episode, and I enjoyed it but it didn’t really give me any specifics to work on.

    • #73062
      AvatarHarry Palmer

        It’s good to see you know what your limitations are with mobility and technique.  While you are working on fixing technical issues I would look into doing the couch stretch and smashing the quads.  Simply put, the anterior hip all connects into the patella/quad tendon which is anchored on the tibial tuberosity (Osgood bump).  It you get the anterior hip to open up it should relieve the tension on the bump some.

      So in summary, continue focusing on technique and overall mobility, but put some extra work into the anterior hip in the form of the couch stretch (and other anterior hip stretches) and smashing.  My favorite for smashing is barbell smashing the quad at night while winding down in front of the tv.  Also, look at your squat technique and make sure you are breaking at the hips first.  This will help keep the patella tendon from being tacked down first and taking the brunt of load in the squat.  Also, keep the shins as vertical as possible.  This will help keep tension off the knee and into the hips.

      If you have anymore questions please ask.  Good luck.

    • #73072
      Avatar[email protected]


      Thanks a lot for the detailed response. I’ve been working up a good sweat with my dynamic warm-up, and then hitting my workout, and then doing the couch-stretch, wall-sit, for two minutes each immediately after my workout. I’m going to continue to do the couch-stretch whenever possible at home, and really try to open up that hip. I’ll also make sure that I’m working on my form wherever and whenever possible. I just ordered some bands and a lacrosse ball so hopefully those will add to my progress.

      If working the anterior hip going to help with my butt-wink as well?

      Thanks again.

    • #73073
      AvatarHarry Palmer

         Yes opening the anterior hip can help with butt wink.  You can determine if butt wink is a mobility issue or stability issue by kneeling on all fours on the floor.  Make your knees as wide as you normally squat and rock back until your butt sits on your heels.  Either film this or have someone with a good eye watch your hips.  Start by doing it with no ab bracing at all.  You should see your hips butt wink.  Next, brace like you would with a squat and go again. IF your hips stay solid with bracing it is not a mobility issue.  IF they still wink, you are most likely looking at mobility.  You can also play with this to see what your ideal squat width is.  This is a Dr Stuart McGill strategy (I think. He uses it to determine stance width).  I’m not sure if you can find a video of this online.

         Hope this helps.

    • #73074
      Avatar[email protected]

      Oh wow interesting. I’ll definitely do that, sounds like an easy way to self diagnose. Thanks again Cody

    • #73078
      Avatar[email protected]


      I tried the test of getting on my knees and hands and rocking back. I’m by myself but I could feel something interesting. With not flexing my abs I could feel my hips pull under towards the end. With my abs flexed it felt more stable, all the way to a breaking point. Towards the end I felt my abs give and I couldn’t flex them anymore. Is this a obvious stability issue? Is my core too weak?

    • #73088
      AvatarHarry Palmer

      Honestly, I think I stated this backwards the first time. (It’s been fixed for anyone else looking at this post)

      If your hips stay solid with bracing on, it IS NOT a mobility issue.  You can achieve proper depth with a stable midline and have all the ROM required to do so. 

      If your hips tuck under with bracing, it IS a mobility issue.  When you achieve proper depth you go into posterior pelvic tilt (butt wink) and this is what is shutting your abs down, in my opinion. 

      Try doing the same movements as a body weight squat and see if you get the same results.

      Overall, you first need to be organized and extremely stable under load.  The WHOLE time too.  If you are losing stability in the bottom, make sure you are really screwing your feet into the ground and maintaining that initial tension.  Secondly, you need to have the ROM to perform deep squats.  You have already pointed out what needs the work; anterior hip, ankles, and hips.  For now, I would squat higher, to a box or free, until you can fix the butt wink.  Then add a little more depth when you are sure you can maintain neutral.

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