5 Questions with Christian Baumgart

Baumgart, Christian

Christian Baumgart, lead author of new study, Pubished Ahead of Print

It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to ask a guest ‘5 questions,’ a recurring feature of this blog.  Our May issue is still a few days from being published…..too soon for guests!  And so I thought it was time to give readers a taste of our ‘Published Online First’ feature.

Once a manuscript has passed CJSM’s rigorous peer review process, ‘made the grade’ and been accepted, it is still a few months away from being published in print.  Like many journals, we have a healthy backlog of manuscripts which have been accepted but await publication.

But it’s not too soon for the authors to break out the champagne, because the article can be fully formatted and made available electronically prior to print–fully searchable in PubMed, prime time for the C.V.

One such study came to us from researchers in the Department of Movement Science at the University of Wuppertal in Germany: Effects of Static Stretching and Playing Soccer on Knee Laxity.  This is a randomized clinical trial looking at the effects of static stretching and playing soccer on anterior tibial translation.  I emailed the lead author, Christian Baumgart, and he was more than happy to join us on funf fragen…er, five questions!

Danke Christian!  I hope to meet you some day in Germany.


1) CJSM: What would you say was the most notable finding in your study?

CB: Previous studies have shown that different exercises lead to an increase in the sagittal knee laxity. The surprising finding of our study was that static stretching also increases the sagittal knee laxity and even to a greater extent than playing soccer. From a biomechanical point of view this fact seems to be logical, because in healthy athletes the joint mobility during stretching is limited primarily by ligaments and capsules. Subsequently, these connective tissues were short-termed plastic deformed. It is unclear whether the connective tissues adapts structurally, if the external load is applied long-term.

2) CJSM: Do you think the statistically significant increases in anterior tibial translation (ATT) you found both in static stretching and playing football (soccer) are clinically significant? Read more of this post

5 Questions with Jim Borchers: Team Doc of the National Champion Buckeyes!

jim borchers

A VERY happy crew: Jim Borchers (center), Bob Sweeney (L) & Doug Calland (R) in Arlington, TX after the National Championship game.

Followers of this blog know that I live in Columbus, Ohio.

And most of you know what that would mean for life here the last two weeks.

Unless you are overseas and/or pay no attention to American college football–which is true for some of our readers–I don’t need to tell you that Columbus is home to the reigning, undisputed National Champions of NCAA Division 1 football:  the Ohio State University beat Oregon decisively in the game on January 12 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, 42 – 20.

The medical staff of that team is a group of clinicians whom I know well.  I have great admiration for the clinical and scholarly work they do.

In the aftermath of the game, I reached out to my friend, Jim Borchers, M.D., M.P.H. and asked him if would have time to share some of his thoughts on the game, the season, and a variety of other topics.  I am happy to say he said yes.

Jim is an example of that clinical and scholarly excellence I just wrote of. He is the Director of the Division of Sports Medicine in the Department of Family Medicine at OSU. He is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship there, as well.  And besides being the team physician for the football team, he takes care of men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, and lacrosse as well.

I’m happy to say he still, somehow, finds time to help out with the journal.

Now, without further adieu, here is our conversation with Dr. Borchers.


1) CJSM: I understand you were both a player for the Buckeyes when you were in college and now are one of the team physicians for the new, National Champs. Can you describe what different thoughts and emotions you have as a player for an elite team vs. those you have as a team physician.

JB: I was very fortunate to play football at Ohio State from 1989-1993.  As a player during that period, we were working very hard to try to get Ohio State back to the top of the Big 10 conference.  During my playing days, I was like my other teammates – focused on winning and performing to the best of our abilities.  During those years I experienced some great wins and some tough losses and certainly appreciated how important football was to all of the fans and alumni of Ohio State.  As a player, I always wanted to be on a championship team – one that would be remembered at Ohio State.  My senior year we were Co-champions of the Big 10 conference and finished 10-1-1 and in the top 10 in the country.  At a recent 20 year reunion honoring that team, I was reminded of how fortunate we were as a team to compete at Ohio State. Read more of this post

5 questions with Robert Zayas, New York State Public High School Athletic Association

State Wresting Championships 2013 II

Robert Zayas (left) at New York State Wrestling Championships 2013

We are delighted to have Robert Zayas, Executive Director of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA), join us today for our “Five Questions with CJSM”  feature.

I met Robert at an inaugural meeting of the National Youth Council on Sports Safety (NCYSS) in Washington, D.C. last November, and I have been after him ever since to sit down with us to share his unique perspective on American youth sports.  He’s a busy man, as you’ll see, and so we’re all fortunate to have him join us.

With a clinical practice in pediatric sports medicine, youth sports are never far from my mind.  In D.C. Robert and I had a chat about some of the challenges facing the kids and adults involved in contemporary youth sports:  early sport specialization (the focus of an earlier blog post); the rise of youth league sports in parallel with interscholastic sports; the unique pressures the American athletic scholarship phenomenon places on young athletes; the evidence that participation rates are declining in landmark sports like football and soccer……it’s a world in flux, with lots of questions.

And so it’s great to have people like Robert Zayas involved in guiding the ship through these changing seas.


1) CJSM: Congratulations! You have recently been named to the National Council on Youth Sports Safety.  Can you tell us a little bit about the goals of the council, and what you hope to contribute to the process?

RZ: Thank  you; it is truly an honor to serve as a member of the National Council on Youth Sports Safety.

In its first year, the NCYSS will meet quarterly to review existing research, explore alternative solutions, and develop a strategic plan for the implementation of a national set of guidelines on youth sports safety. The second year will include a best practices tour where the public will be provided with opportunities to learn about scientific and technological advancements, effective coaching and training techniques, and contribute feedback on methods that have led to a decline in injury in their respective communities.

I hope to represent the high school sports view-point on the council.  Most importantly, I hope to ensure interscholastic, education based sports are seen as an extension of the classroom and the impact concussions are having on the “student” in all areas of education.

2) CJSM: You are the Executive Director of the NYSPHSAA.  Can you tell us a bit about your background and what you see as the mission of the association?

RZ: My background in education and athletics spans a very short period of time when compared to other Executive Directors throughout the country.  Read more of this post

5 Questions with Dr. John DiFiori, AMSSM President

amssm overuse

Screen Shot of AMSSM
Infographic on
Youth Sport and Burnout

January represents the new year here at CJSM, as it does of course for all of you in the blogosphere.  But what really excites us is not the opportunity to set new year’s resolutions:  it’s  the new issue of the CJSM, and that’s what I want to share with you today.

There is a lot on offer in this issue, including studies exploring treatments of articular cartilage pathology, a study of functional ankle instability, and a journal club exploring the relative of benefits of PRP and ESWT on chronic patellar tendinopathy.

The lead study is a systematic review and position statement on the issue of youth sports, with an evidence-based  focus on the phenomena of overuse injuries.  This blog reviewed the statement in an earlier post.  It’s an important study, and we want to make sure as many people as possible get a chance to read it.

And so, we feel fortunate to have had the chance over the holidays to chat with the lead author of the paper, Dr. John DiFiori, and ask him ’5 questions’ about his recent work.


1) CJSM: Dr. DiFiori, you are the lead author of the new American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) position statement on ’overuse injuries and burnout in youth sports.’  Can you tell us a bit about the genesis of this statement?  When was it first conceived?  How long did it take to go from initial conception to publication?  How did you gather together the group of experts who are authors on this statement?

JD: Given all of the issues currently surrounding youth sports, the AMSSM leadership felt that a position statement focusing on overuse injuries and burnout would be timely, and would help to address many of the concerns held by sports medicine professionals, as well parents, coaches, and the young athletes themselves. In late 2011, a nominating process was completed, and I was asked by AMSSM to lead this project. The six outstanding members of the writing group were identified through a similar process, based on their clinical expertise, and their record of educational and scholarly contributions in this area.

We began to develop the content areas and search strategy in early 2012. We endeavored to have the paper be as evidenced-based as possible. To this end, we utilized a systematic search process, followed by author review, to identify relevant literature. The writing process, multiple re-writes and editing to ensure accurate information, took about 1 year. Because of the length of the process, we performed another systematic literature search in mid 2013 to ensure the paper would be as up to date as possible. The draft then underwent critical review by several expert external reviewers, who provided some very valuable suggestions. Following this, the paper underwent another round of review by the AMSSM Board of Directors. And then it was off to CJSM. So, all in all it was a very thorough process. Hopefully the result is a document that will be a solid resource for the sports medicine community.

2) CJSM: The statement is a comprehensive review of some of the major phenomena in the world of youth sport:  overuse, early specialization, over scheduling, burnout. What do you think are some of the underlying forces driving these phenomena?  Are there different pressures being brought to bear on the modern youth athlete we didn’t see a generation ago?  And if so, what are they? Read more of this post

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