New Research on Baseball Players Has Wide Reaching Benefit

May. 24, 2011

Physical Therapist Dr. Evan Johnson

A study published in the May, 2011 issue of the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy (JOSPT) sheds new light on the important forces that effect the shoulder and elbow of baseball players.

The article in JOSPT, Baseball Pitching: Understanding the Mechanics of Throwing a Baseball May Help Protect the Shoulder and Elbow specifically looks at the forces that impact “the shoulder and elbow during flat-ground and long-toss throws.”  The authors state, “A better understanding of the forces that occur during different types of baseball throws could lead to improved guidelines, helping to boost performance while preventing injuries.”

Dr. Evan Johnson, physical therapist at the Spine Center, has treated a number of major league pitchers for shoulder and spine injuries. He says, “Proper training is critical to optimize performance while minimizing injuries. This is especially true for younger athletes who may incur injuries that affect their still developing musculoskeletal systems.”

Johnson goes on to say, “These findings are important, because aspects of current training guidelines may actually be placing the athletes throwing elbow and shoulder at unnecessary risk. Well researched findings are necessary to continue to refine the expertise of those of us who treat athletes of all levels. As we expand our knowledge we can better meet the needs of our patients of all ages. Hopefully, this will allow our youth and professionals to enjoy the benefits of athletics while properly training their bodies and minds for their favorite sport.”

You can read the article, Baseball Pitching: Understanding the Mechanics of Throwing a Baseball May Help Protect the Shoulder and Elbow in Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy (JOSPT) 2011;41(5):304. doi:10.2519/jospt.2011.0503

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