How Cincinnati Children's Hospital is using video cameras to help heal young athletes

Video clinics for baseball, running, golf, dance

CINCINNATI -- For any young athlete, injury can end long-term dreams of playing the sport they love. That's why Cincinnati Children's Hospital is resorting to a high-tech method to keep athletes healthy.

The hospital is now using video cameras to help young athletes who come in for physical therapy.

Sycamore High School sophomore Jarrod Bahr may be young, but he's been in baseball long enough to know arm pain.

"My arm gets sore occasionally from throwing too much -- pitching and catching, but I got it from pitching," Bahr said. "It was bad. It was by far the worst pain I had."

Bahr teamed up with Physical Therapist Eric Bellm at Cincinnati Children's Hospital to see what they could do. Bellm first looked at all the objective measures when it comes to fixing an injury, including strength and range of motion, but he relied on a third eye to assist with the process. Using similar therapy techniques to those major league players receive, Bellm had Bahr return to the mound while he and his camera watched.

"The idea is if you see the range of motion, you can actually begin to tell the difference between the right and the wrong approach," Bellm said.

Bellm used the video playback to tweak bad angles and find ways to optimize Bahr's pitching habits. Then they recorded the corrective work.

"And we can then compare side by side -- this is what this looks like when you weren't doing this and when you were doing this and how that compares to optimal throwing mechanics," Bellm said.

Bahr said he's now pain-free and that his comeback wouldn't have been possible without all their video work.

"Baseball is the biggest part of my life, and if I couldn't get back to baseball, I don't know what else I would do," Bahr said. "This helped me get back and this helped me get happy."

"I loved having you," Bellm tells his patients. "Don't come back, but if you need to, we're here."

When athletes come to Cincinnati Children's Hospital with pain and fatigue that could lead to injury, Bellm said they take care of that quickly to decrease the risk of further injury. 

Cincinnati Children's Hospital also has a video clinics for runners, dancers and golfers. Find more information at the website here.

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