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At Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Chris Kovacs, PT, DPT, evaluates a young patient who plays golf competitively. Kovacs, the facility's coordinator of sports and orthopedic physical therapy and a board-certified orthopaedic clinical specialist, looks at the player's strength, flexibility, and range of motion. He's also analyzing the way the teen swings a golf club—recording the swing on video to show the young golfer what's going wrong and how it can be fixed.

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In this case, he may tell the teen that he's thrusting his hips toward the ball too early in his down-swing—forcing him to hyperflex his neck and causing his neck pain. The teen won't understand, Kovacs explains, why the PT wants to treat the hip muscles and glutes when it's the neck that hurts—until he watches the video footage.

"You can get buy-in with kids if you can speak their language and know about their sport," Kovacs adds. PTs treating pediatric and adolescent overuse injuries need to get their patients to agree to treatment or to rest and let their bodies recover, he notes. Often, showing them what's happening helps them understand and become willing participants.

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  2. Jayanthi NA, LaBella CR, Fischer D, et al. Sports-specialized intensive training and the risk of injury in young athletes: a clinical case-control study. Am J Sports Med. 2015;43(4): 794–801.
  3. Facts about NCAA Sports. Accessed August 27, 2018.
  4. Bergeron MF, Mountjoy M, Armstrong N, et al. International Olympic Committee consensus statement on youth athletic development. BR J Sports Med. 2015;49: 843-851.
  5. Myer GD, Faigenbaum AD, Ford KR, et al. When to initiate integrative neuromuscular training to reduce sports-related injuries in youth? Curr Sports Med Rep. 2011;10(3): 155-166.
  6. McLeod TC, Decoster LC, Loud KJ, et al. National Athletic Trainers' Association Position Statement: Prevention of Pediatric Overuse Injuries. J Athl Training. 2011;46(2): 206-220.
  7. LaPrade RF, Agel J, Baker J, et al. American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) Early Sport Specialization Consensus Statement. Orthop J Sports Med. 2016;4(4): 2325967116644241. doi: 10.1177/2325967116644241.

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