Glenohumeral ROM and risk of elbow injury in pitchers
During the the overhead throwing motion, as the elbow is extended while the shoulder moves away from maximum external rotation, stress is put on the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). Recent literature points towards and association between decreased rotational ROM of the shoulder and injuries of the elbow, more specifically of the UCL.
Therefore, the aim of this prospective study was to determine if associations between decreased ROM of the throwing shoulder (GIRD, and deficits in external rotation, total rotational ROM or flexion) and elbow injuries were present. Over 8 competitive seasons, anthropometric data was collected and ROM measurements were conducted in 296 participants (505 pitcher-seasons).
No relationships were found between the presence of a GIRD or an external rotation deficit and the incidence of elbow injuries. However, significant correlations were present between deficits of the throwing shoulder in total rotational range of motion and, suprisingly, flexion – the latter possibly due to decreased tissue mobility in general or scapular dyskinesia.
> From: Wilk et al., Am J Sports Med 42 (2014) 2075-2081. All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the Pubmed summary.