Dr. Cindy Chang is a specialist in primary care sports medicine with almost 3 decades of experience. She has served as head team physician at UC Berkeley, chief medical officer for Team USA in 2008 & 2012 Olympics, and assisted in the WNBA COVID "Wubble." Chang takes an individualized approach to care, seeing athletes of all ages. She is Program Director of UCSF's Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship, board of trustees for the American College of Sports Medicine, chairs the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee for the California Interscholastic Federation & National Federation of State High School Associations, and past president of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine. She earned her medical degree from Ohio State Univ. College of Medicine, followed by a residency in family medicine at UCLA Medical Center & a fellowship in sports medicine at Ohio State Univ. Medical Center.
Anterior knee pain or patellofemoral pain is the most common cause of knee pain in fairly active 21-year-old females. This can be caused by tight thigh and hip muscles, so it is important to do a good knee and hip stretch before participating in any activities to ensure that the kneecap is tracking well and prevent occasional knee pain. Transcript: "Why might a fairly active 21-year-old female sometimes get knee pain? Well, I like the term sometimes, because that means that it's not happening with relative frequency. Because if it was when you're active or playing a sport that I'd be more concerned about something going on inside of your knee like a cartilage injury or meniscal tear. But if you're sometimes getting knee pain and it's non traumatic, then the most common cause in females event is anterior knee pain or patellofemoral pain. When we say patella, we mean kneecap. And if you can see here, I've pulled up my tights, but if you can see there's my kneecap right through here, and this is my patellar tendon. And if I straighten my knee and bend my knee, you can see that kneecap tracking. I'll give you a lateral view too. You can see that kneecap is moving back and forth. So if the muscles in the anterior aspect of your leg, the thigh muscles and your hip muscles are tight. For example, you spent a long time studying for a midterm or final, or working on a project at work, those muscles up here in the quadriceps and the hip flexors can get tighter, and that can cause an alteration in how your kneecap tracks when you're playing activities. So make sure that before you participate in your sport activity, you're doing a really good knee, quadricep stretch, and hip flexor stretch to be able to make sure that your kneecap is tracking well, and you can avoid that occasional knee pain."
I'd like to answer more questions about ways parents can balance their children's activity levels, prevent overuse injuries, and ensure they are not specializing in just one sport. I have experience raising my own kids who went on to play at the collegiate and professional level and I would use evidence-based research to provide perspective and balance. Transcript: "What topics would I'd like to answer more questions about? I think that I am very interested in answering questions probably from other parents. I have-- I'm in a unique position. I have been a primary care sports medicine physician, a team physician from youth athletes to elite athletes. But what I really enjoy is talking to other parents about how they balance their kids' activity level. How to prevent overuse injuries, yet how to make sure that they're not just specializing in one sport, especially when parents have very busy work schedules and lives of their own. And it gets very hard to get their kids around to different activities. And so I do like to talk them about it, especially because I would like to think that my spouse and I have raised some pretty balanced kids who have done well academically, but also have done very well athletically playing at the collegiate level and the professional level. And it's great to really provide some perspective and balance, especially when parents feel like they're getting pressured by maybe coaches or other parents to have their kids do more. And those are the topics that I think I would like to add some more questions about. And mainly from my experience more than anything else, but really using evidence-based research as well to talk about sports specialization as well as kids' health and happiness. Thanks for the question."
My parents taught me integrity, honesty and fairness. They said not to bring shame to the family, and that's something I try to keep in mind when dealing with patients and relationships, both personal and professional. Transcript: "My parents had this great phrase-- do not bring shame to the family. They're immigrants from China who came to the United States for graduate school education, and really had nothing, and raised four of us. I love my parents. My dad's now deceased. My mom's 93. But the best thing they taught me, as they say that phrase, do not bring shame onto the family, is integrity. I think being honest and treating everyone with fairness and kindness are the things they taught me, to tell the truth. That's what I try to do with my patients. That's what I try to do in my personal relationships and professional relationships, is what they see is what they get, and that's me. Great question. Thanks."
Dr. Cindy Chang is a primary care and sports medicine physician certified in family medicine, with fellowship experience in primary care sports medicine. She works with athletes of all ages and skill levels, from youth to masters, recreational to elite, including Olympians and professional athletes. She specializes in treating illnesses, injuries, and helping them return to exercise and sports. Transcript: "Hi, I'm dr. Cindy Chang, I am a primary care, Sports Medicine, physician board certified in family medicine and then I did a fellowship in Primary Care. Sports medicine. I work with all ages and levels of athletes from our young youth athletes. All the way to our masters athletes, from recreational athletes to Elite athletes, including Olympians and professional athletes. I take care of all kinds, of issues, illnesses and injuries as they return. Attain to exercise and sports."
The optimal blood pressure level for the general population is a systolic pressure of 120 or less and a diastolic pressure of 80 or less. However, your health care provider may determine that an optimal blood pressure level could be different for you depending on your individual medical conditions. Transcript: "What is the perfect blood pressure level? A lot of people do ask that and what's recommended is to have a systolic blood pressure of 120 or less. And that's the first number that's recorded And then a Dia blood pressure number of 80 or less. Is the second number. So 1 20/80 And less is an optimal blood pressure level. But understand that some people have underlying health care conditions, medical conditions where their health care provider may determine that an optimal blood pressure level could be a little bit different for them. For example, a little bit higher than 1 20. Like they are happy with having a blood pressure of 1 30 because for example, they do not want their blood pressure to drop too low or they may have an increased risk of fainting. But let your health care provider determine that optimal blood pressure level for you. But for the general population, less than 1 20/80– or 1 20/80 or less— is an optimal blood pressure level."
Make sure that you are choosing medicine as a career because it is your passion, do some rotations or experiences in health-care settings, and know that you won't be making a lot of money right away. Transcript: "What are some things I should know before entering medical school? One thing is to make sure that you are choosing medicine as a career because it is your passion. It is not someone else's desire that you become a physician, but it is something that you really want to do. And hopefully, prior to entering med school, you have done some rotations or experiences in health-care settings so that you know absolutely that providing health care to others is something that you want to do. So whether that be volunteering in a nursing home, whether that is volunteering in a physician's office and understanding what it is to provide health care to others. Know before you enter medical school that you're going to probably have peers who are not in training that have entered into fields where they're making a lot of money almost right away. And your passion for med school should not be because you want to make a lot of money because that should not be the driving force. And if that is, you will not be happy in the health-care field."