Throwing a baseball is one of the most, if not the most, stressful motions in all of sports (it’s the fastest motion in all of sports, clocking in at ~7,000°/sec). It requires everything from your head to toes to be working together and,hopefully, in an optimal state.
If there is any abnormal movement (think stiffness, weakness) anywhere along that chain, it can negatively affect your ability to throw or, even worse, lead to injury.
That’s why having your movement assessed (whole body) and addressing any abnormal movements/limitations is so important. We want you to not only stay healthy but also to get the most out of your body so you can play at your best.
Medical professionals in the baseball world know that it takes a lot of oversight, guidance, and work (by the medical staff and by the players) to not only stay healthy throughout a season but also perform optimally.
Those players who stay on top of their health - good arm care program, monitored throwing amounts, good oversight by baseball specialists, appropriate recovery periods, etc. - will perform that much better during the season and reduce their risk of getting injured. And those who don’t....well, we’re all well aware of the alarming rates of injury/surgery in baseball.
We recommend assessing your movement (and addressing any issues) not only in the off-season, but also during the season. This way we can let you know areas that are becoming problematic and can be worked on to get them back to where they should be.
During the season is actually when pitchers are prone to losing motion. Pitchers lose motion in their elbow and shoulder after just a single bout of pitching.
- After a pitching bout, the average pitcher LOST (2008 study):
- 10° of total motion in their shoulder (don’t worry about what that is, just know that we know what that is and how to measure it)
- 3° of elbow extension (ability to straighten your elbow)
- Now combine that with this 2014 study that showed:
- Having more than a 5°difference in shoulder flexion motion in your throwing arm was shown to make pitchers 2.8 times more likely to get injure their elbow
- Pitchers who don’t have “total arc of motion” in their throwing arm within 5° of their non-throwing arm are 2.6 times more likely to sustain an injury.
The point being...you need to stay on top of your body!
Some of the ways we help improve mobility in players is with manual therapy techniques (using our hands, tools, etc to improve mobility), corrective exercises (mobility drills, stability exercises, etc), and a good ol’ fashioned strength program geared towards pitchers.
So, if you’re concerned about your health because your arm never feels totally right or if you feel like you’re not getting the most out of your body and have untapped potential, find someone (like us) who specializes in working with baseball players and get the ball rolling in the right direction!