Magazine article USA TODAY

Pitcher's Arm Position Can Cause Injury

Magazine article USA TODAY

Pitcher's Arm Position Can Cause Injury

Article excerpt

Young baseball players can avoid shoulder damage by learning how to position their throwing arms properly during all phases of the pitching motion. "Most pitching injuries are caused by overuse, which may be the result of insufficient conditioning of certain muscles," points out surgeon Thomas J. Gill, Department of Orthopaedics, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. "But, we found the pitcher's arm movements during different phases of the pitching motion, if performed incorrectly, could cause injury."

Gill believes the results of the study performed at Steadman-Hawkins Sports Medicine Foundation, Vail, Colo., are especially important for young players. "Our findings will help in the development of effective conditioning and training programs for athletes, especially youngsters, when improper mechanics are more easily addressed."

The researchers found several phases of the pitching motion, if performed incorrectly, could lead to trouble. These include:

* Maximum shoulder rotation. "When the pitcher's arm is positioned too far behind [his] body, peak forces and torques are experienced throughout the shoulder which could lead to instability problems. The pitcher should rotate [his] body a little more because [he is] placing too much stress on the arm. …

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