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Managing Severs, Osgood Schlatters, and Hamstring Growth Plate Injuries with Dr. Emily Sweeney

In gymnastics, growth plate injuries are not uncommon, especially in the hamstring area. 

These injuries can cause pain and discomfort and require proper management to ensure a full recovery.

In this episode of The Shift Show, I’m joined by Dr. Emily Sweeney, a sports medicine physician from Colorado, to discuss the causes of hamstring growth plate injuries and the best ways to manage them.

While her competitive gymnastics career ended early at 16, due to a back and other injuries, she continued her role by working as a coach for ten years and serving as a women’s artistic and NCAA judge for 15 years. 

She obtained her medical degree from the University of Missouri, completed her residency at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and finished a sports medicine fellowship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. 

She credits her sports-related injuries as the inspiration for her work and advocates for injury prevention, publishing multiple research studies and a medical textbook on the subject

We delve into the big picture of what needs to be done when an athlete experiences acute pain, the exercises that can be done in the rehab setting, and the timeline for a slow return to gymnastics. 

We also discuss the importance of early detection to prevent these injuries from becoming more severe.

Dr. Sweeney provides a medical perspective on imaging and the causes of hamstring growth plate injuries, whilst I share expertise on the PT side of things, outlining the best exercises for rehabilitation. 

Together, we provide a comprehensive overview of the topic and the best practices for managing these injuries.

If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, make sure to tune in to Dr. Sweeney’s lecture on day one of the 2023 Shift Symposium. 

It’s sure to be an informative weekend filled with valuable insights and ideas to help change gymnasts’ lives.

We discuss:

  • Children are not just small adults, and we need to acknowledge that they have different injuries.
  • What are growth plates? 
  • Don’t ignore the nagging pain.
  • A perfect storm of force and growth: The danger of overworking young athletes.
  • Setting timeline expectations for recovery. 
  • Return to play progression and rehabilitation.
  • The importance of psychological readiness in rehabilitation. And…
  • What to look for in a potential re-injury?

Managing Sever’s, Osgood Schlatter’s, and Hamstring Growth Plate Injuries with Dr. Emily Sweeney



Hope it helps!

– Dave

Dr. Dave Tilley DPT, SCS, CSCS
CEO/Founder of SHIFT Movement Science