Specialized Services

Sports Medicine and Adolescent Medicine
Joel Brenner, MD
Aisha Joyce, MD
David Smith, MD
Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine
J. Marc Cardelia, MD
Allison Crepeau, MD
Cara Novick, MD
H. Sheldon St. Clair, MD
Carl St. Remy, MD
Allison Tenfelde, MD

Contact CHKD Sports Medicine at (757) 668-PLAY (7529)


CHKD's Sports Medicine Program offers a complete spectrum of services to young athletes of every size, shape, age and ability. Our care is backed by CHKD's full complement of pediatric health services and is provided by primary care sports medicine specialists, pediatric orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine physical therapists and certified athletic trainers who understand the special demands that sports place on young, growing bodies.

Swimming Injuries and Swim Stroke Analysis

Swimming is an excellent exercise for young athletes. But if your child experiences pain while swimming, it can be frustrating and difficult. At CHKD, our pediatric sports medicine physicians, who have expertise in treating swimming injuries, can examine swimmers, pinpoint the problem and determine a treatment plan. Please call 668-PLAY (7529) for an appointment with Dr. David Smith, who heads our swimming program.

We also offer a video swim-stroke analysis to help identify technique errors that may be contributing to pain or poor performance. Swimmers receive a video of their swim stroke from multiple angles, along with our observations on technique errors. They can bring this information back to their coaches to work together on improving technique errors and maximizing performance. No physician referral is required for this service. Cost: $150. Please call 668-2390 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Running Injuries and Video Running Analysis

Running is popular for people of all ages. The types of injuries that young runners sustain, however, are different from adult running injuries. That’s why it’s important to have your child evaluated by pediatric sports medicine physicians who have expertise in youth running injuries and can create the right treatment plan. (This plan may also include a video running analysis – see below.) Please call 668-PLAY (7529) for an appointment with Dr. Joel Brenner, who heads our running program.

We also offer a video running analysis to help identify even the smallest technique errors that may be contributing to pain or poor performance. Runners are provided with a video of their running technique, our analysis of their technique errors and guidance on how to make beneficial adaptations to running form. Our physical therapists can even help with running shoe prescriptions or programs for transitioning to a barefoot shoe or mid-foot strike pattern. No physician referral is required for this service. Cost: $100. Please call 668-2727 (Virginia Beach office) or 668-2390 (Chesapeake office) for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Baseball Injuries and Pitching Analysis

When a young pitcher uses improper technique, he can put his pitching arm at risk. An injury can cause a pitcher to be taken out of baseball for weeks or months. Our pediatric sports medicine physicians are experienced in evaluating pitching injuries and providing appropriate treatment. For an appointment with our sports medicine physicians, call 668-PLAY (7529).

Improper pitching technique can result from weakness, lack of stability and control, or bad habits. That’s why we also offer a video pitching analysis, breaking down pitching technique from multiple angles at 300 frames per second. (The human eye is only capable of processing about 10 frames per second.)

Our physical therapists will review the videos with the pitcher and the parent, note errors in mechanics and make recommendations for exercises or drills to help reduce errors. Pitchers will also be given a video of their technique and a printout of our analysis to review with their coaches. Cost: $150. Please call Chris at 668-6644 for more information or to schedule an appointment. Pitching analysis can be done at any of our Southside locations.

Dry Needling (Intramuscular Manual Therapy)

Sometimes when muscles are injured, trigger points, also known as taught bands, develop in the muscle tissues. These trigger points can be painful and tender to palpation. Usually, they will go away with massage, stretching and strengthening exercises.

But when painful trigger points still won’t go away, dry needling can be an effective treatment. This can also be effective in managing scar tissue, pain and swelling. It involves inserting an acupuncture needle into the muscle tissue to help release the trigger points and re-start the body’s natural healing responses. Dry needling is often painless but may produce an increase in soreness for up to two or three days after treatment.

Because this is an invasive procedure, a physician’s prescription is required. It is covered by most insurance companies when performed by a physician or physical therapist. Dry needling is offered at our Princess Anne location. Please call Kim at 668-2727 for more information.

ACL Injury Prevention Program for Female Athletes

The ACL is the main stabilizing ligament of the knee. Young female athletes are two to eight times more likely to experience ACL ruptures than males in the same sports and at the same level of play.

Female ACL injuries are primarily non-contact, unexpected injuries, usually occurring upon landing from a normal jump or while making a routine cut. The ligament can tear if an athlete stops, turns or lands from a jump in an awkward position or with poor balance and control. Research has shown that with proper training, the incidence of ACL injuries in female athletes can be lowered by as much as 80 percent.

Our ACL-injury prevention classes consist of strengthening techniques, core stabilization exercises, plyometrics (jump training), stretching, balance and coordination training. Classes and clinics, led by physical therapy professionals, focus on proper jumping, landing and cutting techniques. A six-week session of classes is offered several times per year. Classes are held twice a week for one hour each night. Cost: $100. For class schedules, visit www.chkd.org/classes.

A variety of ACL-injury prevention programs for your entire team are also offered on your field. For more information, please call Kira at 668-6644.

Return-to-Sports Evaluation

After an injury is healed, it can be difficult to determine if a young athlete is ready to return to competition. If an athlete returns too soon, he or she risks re-injury or even a new injury.

Our physical therapists use a variety of functional, well-researched assessment tools proven to be reliable in determining whether an athlete is ready to return to sports. For this service to be covered by insurance, a physician’s prescription is required. Offered at all sports medicine physical therapy locations. Call 668-PLAY (7529) for an appointment.

Vestibular Rehab for Concussions

A concussion is a brain injury from a direct or indirect force to the head. More than 3.8 million occur each year, and many are believed to go undiagnosed.. Eighty percent of student-athletes suffering from a sports-related concussion are better within three weeks. But student-athletes who have had one or more concussions in the past may require more time for their symptoms to be resolved. They’re also at increased risk for suffering another concussion.

Evidence shows that neurocognitive problems (e.g., attention, memory) can remain even when an athlete reports no symptoms. It’s important that a student-athlete who complains of concussion-like symptoms is examined and treated by a physician experienced in sports concussion management. Dr. Joel Brenner is a national leader in concussion management and oversees the concussion program at CHKD. For more information, click here. For an evaluation, please call 668-PLAY (7529).

One symptom of concussions is dizziness. In most cases, this resolves within four weeks. A student-athlete with ongoing dizziness from a concussion may benefit from vestibular physical therapy. Our physical therapists, who are specially trained in vestibular rehab, can work with your athlete to perform specific exercises to help eliminate dizziness, improve balance and regain sports performance for a safe return to play. Vestibular rehab is offered at our Oakbrooke (Chesapeake) and Kempsville (Norfolk) offices. For more information, please call April at 668-6644 (Kempsville) or Sara at 668-2390 (Oakbrooke).

Dance Medicine and Rehabilitation

Young dancers are often plagued by injuries due to the frequent, intense and repetitive nature of their sport. Unfortunately, many young dancers have been conditioned to ignore early symptoms of injuries and to dance through the pain. This mindset can often worsen injuries that could have been treated easily at the onset. Our dance medicine program will assess dancers early on, and when necessary, provide treatment in order to prevent a more serious injury.

A dance physical therapist is available to visit dance studios on a weekly or bi-monthly basis to determine which injuries need to be taken seriously. If a serious injury occurs, our comprehensive team can handle everything from the initial assessment and diagnostic testing to surgery and rehabilitation. Our dance medicine team includes Dr. Joel Brenner and , Dr. Allison Crepeau who have experience working with dancers at all career levels and Michele Nielsen, DPT, a physical therapist who continues to dance competitively. The dance medicine team are also the official medical providers for several dance institutions, including Governors School for the Arts, Todd Rosenlieb Dance and the Virginia Ballet. For an appointment with Dr. Brenner or Dr. Crepeau, please call 668-PLAY (7529). For questions about our program or to request an on-site studio visit, please call Michele Nielsen at 668-2727.