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The Throwing Athlete's Shoulder

Updated: Oct 21, 2021

Surgeons, physical therapists, and Major League Baseball athletic training coaches from literally across the world annually present the latest strategies in preventing and treating injuries in the pitcher’s elbow and shoulder, from little leaguers to pro players. Today, we will go over key points from the conference on how you can help "build a healthy throwing athlete". There are three key components to consider.

First, the anatomy (rotator cuff, shoulder blade and trunk). We must train or restore STABILITY at these areas. If not, the wear and tear of pitching will make a short career, their speed will be less than their capability and fatigue will happen early. The rotator cuff’s most important job is to keep the ball and socket of the shoulder joint centrated; meaning, the shoulder rotates 180 degrees in many planes and the cuff has to keep the ball in the middle of the socket. The core and shoulder blade must have the ability to stiffen, like a good spring wrapping around the body. Think about a pitcher throwing an upper 90 MPH pitch. The force to throw the ball passes from their feet to their fingers. If the springs are weak, there will be an energy leak during each throw. Force will be generated solely from the shoulder, not the entire body and loss of speed and/or injury will occur.

Total shoulder rotational range of motion (TRM) measures the MOBILITY of the joint. It is calculated by measuring the total degrees of internal and external rotation at the shoulder joint with no shoulder blade movement. Research shows that pitchers lackin