Background: Arm injuries in throwing athletes continue to increase. Injuries may be due to multiple variables, including inefficient body movement patterns, especially in young baseball throwers. It is unclear whether these patterns can be efficiently altered in this population. Purpose/Hypothesis: To investigate the effect of a novel 21-day throwing program on body movement patterns in youth baseball players using common practical tools. Our hypothesis was that this program would change body movement patterns over a relatively short period. Study Design: Descriptive laboratory study. Methods: Ten 9-year-old baseball athletes were asked to participate in a 21–consecutive day throwing program focused on decreasing inefficiencies. All participants underwent video evaluation from 2 vantage points as well as radar evaluation before and after the programs. Throwing arm humerothoracic and antecubital angles as well as pelvic angles in the frontal view were measured at the time of front (directional) leg heel/toe down (late cocking) for each of 3 pitches. Glove-side humerothoracic angles and back leg minimum popliteal angles were measured from behind for each of 3 additional pitches. Velocity was measured using a radar gun. All angular measurements were performed by a physical therapist blinded to the purposes of the program and study as well as to video chronology. Results: Throwing arm antecubital angle (P =.01) and humerothoracic angle (P =.03) as well as back leg minimum popliteal angle (P =.03) all decreased, with mean decreases of 35°, 10°, and 8°, respectively. Velocity increased with decreased back leg popliteal angles (P =.019); mean velocity increased 2.6 mph (P =.016). Conclusion: Young baseball throwers can quickly retrain their bodies to accomplish different movement patterns. Clinical Relevance: This novel throwing program may have implications for injury prevention and treatment as we identify better baseball-throwing movement patterns.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine