Change Sports PT

My Quad Muscle Strain Treatment

A quad muscle strain can be very debilitating for an athlete.  I recently experienced this for myself. My Story After 13 years of not playing soccer, I finally put the cleats back on and took to the soccer field as a player.  I’d been coaching my kids teams for the past 5 years, but hadn’t…
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Ice vs Heat? Which is better?

The age old question- "Should I ice it or heat it?" It seems people have been discussing this topic for centuries and we are no closer to a consensus than when it started. Applying heat or cold to an injury has to be one of the earliest treatment methods used in history. One of the reasons I believe there is no consensus is because we are asking the wrong question. The question shouldn't be, "Should I ice it or heat it?", but instead "What do I want to happen to the tissue?"
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Going for the Gold: Interview with Aaron Brock, ATC


Change Sports Physical Therapy director, Matt Swift, DPT recently had the opportunity to pick the brain of Aaron Brock, ATC, who is the Medical Director of the Olympic gold medal winning, Men's USA volleyball team.

In our longest interview yet, Aaron talks about the importance of developing professionalism in young athletes, injury prevention plans, and as he calls it, "the keystone", which is an all in commitment to your sport.

Aaron grew up as a four sport athlete in the town of Storm Lake, Iowa.  Calling Iowa home, Aaron also earned both his Bachelor's and Master's degree from the University of Iowa.  Speaking from personal experience Brock explains in our interview the importance of not playing your specific sport, volleyball in this case, year round. In this video you will gain insight into how professional athletes not only learn and display professionalism, but stay healthy through their season and beyond.  Enjoy!



Aaron Brock, ATC


Aaron Brock, Director of Sports Medicine and Performance to the U.S. National Teams
Athletic Trainer to the U.S. Men's National Team

10th Year

Back Pain In Gymnastics

I recently had the priveledge of sitting down with Dr. David Kruse, MD to ask him some questions about back pain in gymnastics.  I don't know any other physician in Orange County who would be more qualified to manage the care of a young gymnast than Dr. Kruse.  He was a gymnast himself, and was a member of the US national team.  He is now using his past experience in gymanstics and his medical training to help athletes of all levels.  He is one of the team physicians for USA Gymanstics and also is highly invovled in the collegiate and high school levels.

The questions here are designed to help parents, coaches and young athletes get some basic understanding of back pain, its causes, and how to find out if it is something they need to get evaluated by a medical professional.  Be sure to check out his website at for further information on his practice.


Dr Kruse

Dr. David Kruse is a board certified Primary Care Sports Medicine specialist practicing in Orange County, California.

He is the sports physician for:

  • Crean Lutheran High School
  • Godinez Fundamental High School
  • University of California, Irvine
  • USA Gymnastics

Top Characteristics in a High School Baseball Athlete

What is it that high school coaches are looking for in athletes?  What is it that distinguishes a player who will make the cut, versus the one who doesn't make the team?  It seems that these days parents are in a frenzy to get their kids onto the high school sports team, so that they can make it to college, and get that illustrious scholarship.  From a young age parents are preparing their kids for college athletics.  The conversation about the pros and cons of this push from parents is a topic for another post.  What I want to discuss here is a bit on the subject of how do we best prepare our children for their sport?  What is the best path to get on that high school team?  Is it 7 days a week practice or early specialization on a position?  If you have read even a little of the research on youth sports over the past few years, you will know these approaches can be detrimental to the young athlete.

In this video interview series we are seeking out the high school coaches themselves and asking them, "What are the top characteristics or skills you are looking for in an athlete coming into your program?"  The first interview comes from Bob Marshall, the head varsity baseball coach at Marina High School in Huntington Beach, CA.  Change Sports Physical Therapy is the Preferred Physical Therapy Provider for Marina High School Athletics.  Take a look at what Coach Marshall has to say.

Stress Injuries to the Leg: Interview with Dr. Koutures

I recently had the privilege of sitting down with Dr. Chris Koutures, MD, FAAP to talk about tibial stress injuries.  Dr. Koutures is a pediatric sports medicine doctor in Anaheim Hills, CA.  He is a team physician for USA Volleyball Indoor Teams, and also works with Cal State Fullerton and Chapman University.  Dr. Koutures is one of the most thorough doctors I have met when it comes to explaining conditions and the underlying causes with patients and myself as a physical therapist.

The topic of this video interview is stress injuries to the tibia.  As you will see, this can range from shin splints to fractures of the tibia.  This is a common injury seen by runners and athletes of other sports involving a lot of loading to the lower legs.  In my experience when people get "shin splints" they chalk it up to bad luck.  If someone "always gets shin splints" it is seen as simply an unlucky occurrence.  As we will see, there are a lot of factors which will lead someone to have pain in the lower leg.  As with any stress (overuse) injury, we need to find out what are the stressors which are acting on that particular body region.  These stressors can be extrinsic factors- those coming from outside of the body.  These may include training regimen, running/playing surface, shoe wear, etc.  Stressors can also be intrinsic factors- those coming from the athlete's body.  These may include foot structure, strength, stability, flexibility of the ankle, hip stability, core stability, and more.  The key to a successful recovery and/or prevention of this type of injury is to eliminate as many stressors as you can and increase your promoters of health.  Promoters can include rest, nutrition, proper training regimen, correct mechanics, soft tissue mobility, corrective exercises and proper equipment.


Chris Koutures Round corners circle

To find out more about Dr. Chris Koutures, MD, FAAP

Visit his blog at

You can also follow him on Twitter @dockoutures



Discover how to partner with your body's natural healing process to move out of pain and back to doing what you love.