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Softball Catch

Improve Baseball & Softball Performance with Chiropractic 

What you need to know

Softball Game

Injuries in Baseball- Softball

Injuries in Baseball- Softball Sprains and trains account for over 1 in 3 injuries Hand/wrist (14.6%), shoulder (13.9%), and arm/ elbow (11.6%) injuries accounted for a significant burden. Ultimately, 11.0% of injuries sustained in competition required surgery, compared to 2.8% of injuries sustained in practice.

Elbow Injuries in Baseball and Softball 

Also known as Little Leaguer’s elbow, medial epicondyle apophysitis is an example of a traction apophysitis which occurs over the medial aspect of the elbow. ‘ The medial epicondyle apophysis is the last primary ossification center to close in the elbow, closing between the ages of 15–16 in most individuals This is significant because the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) complex of the elbow which provides primary stabilization in the elbow during throwing originates here Medial epicondyle apophysitis occurs due to chronic val- gus forces during throwing, with the greatest prevalence occurring in players aged 11 to 12 years old.16 Sixty-eight percent of players who develop this injury report a history of elbow pain Medial epicondyle fractures Fractures to the epiphysis of the medial epicondyle lie on the extreme end of the spectrum of traction injuries to the area and have a characteristic acute presentation Median time to return to play was 7.6 months, and 3 of 8 players had greater than 5mm of displacement and underwent operative management with open reduction and internal fixation. Medial epicondyle fractures are typically diagnosed on radiographs of the elbow after this character- istic presentation, and treatment depends on the degree of displacement seen on imaging Olecranon apophysitis and stress fractures The olecranon is also exposed to the stress of throwing and triceps contraction during the acceleration phase generates force directly perpendicular to the olecranon apophysis Chronic forceful contractions due to throwing lead to a similar spectrum of injury as medial epicondyle apophysitis, depending on the degree of stress overload and degree of epiphyseal closure

Softball Equipment
Physical Therapy Session
Physical Therapy Session

Shoulder problems in baseball and softball 

Throwing is integral to the sport, with the ball velocity of professional pitchers often exceeding 90 mph (145 kph) Producing such velocity while maintaining control requires intricate functional adjustments at each component of the kinetic chain throughout the throwing motion, most prominently at the shoulder to optimally balance mobility with dynamic stability repetitive microtrauma sustained over the course of a career can lead to osseous and soft tissue changes, predisposing players to a variety of injuries such as superior labrum from anterior to posterior (SLAP) tears, rotator cuff tendinitis and tears, impingement, and labral tears and instability While nonoperative management is generally the preferred initial mode of treatment for shoulder injuries in elite athletes, athletes who fail to respond to nonoperative measures often require a surgical intervention This means getting your spinal and muscle hygiene assessed by Health Wise Chiropractic will help in getting a treatment plan on how we can improve your function and limit pain and time lost due to injury

Pitchers: What you need to know 

Baseball is one of the most commonly played sports. The throwing movement is particularly complicated among baseball players, and poor throwing movements increases the risk of throwing disorder . The throwing motion is very fast, with the internal rotation angle velocity of the shoulder joint reaching up to >8000 degrees/second and the extension angle velocity of the elbow joint reaching up to >2500 degrees/second [ Moreover, the maximum external rotation angle at the shoulder joint, including the scapula and thorax, at the late cocking phase exceeds 180°; the stress applied to the shoulder joint reaches >1000 N and >900 N at the elbow joint Baseball pitchers are at high risk of developing pitching injuries. Research has reported that approximately one-fourth of pitchers aged 9 to 12 years have elbow pain when pitching. The risk factors for shoulder and elbow pain in baseball pitchers fall into 2 categories—modifiable and nonmodifiable. The nonmodifiable risk factors include age, height, and years of pitching experience. Research says modifiable risk factors as 100 pitches per day, pitcher position, elbow extension deficit, and thoracic kyphosis angle. The baseball pitching motion consists of a kinetic chain that requires great coordination, starting with an elevation of the lower limb and moving to the trunk and upper limb. During the wind-up phase of the pitching motion, the neck rotates to the nonpitching side, influenced by the anterior scalene, sternocleidomastoid, levator scapulae, and trapezius muscles the neck is associated with pitching disorders in athletes who practice overhead motions, and we postulate that tightness of the aforementioned muscles limits the rotation of the head and neck and thus affects the pitching motion. Coming to health wise chiropractic will mean you get to be assessed on your posture and ROM to see if you are at risk of having problems in the future with your pitching.

Prepared to Hit the Ball
Physical Therapy Session
Baseball Gloves

Shoulder stretching versus shoulder muscle strength training for the prevention of baseball-related arm injuries

Glenohumeral internal rotation deficit (GIRD) and weakness in prone external rotation are risk factors for shoulder and elbow injuries in high school baseball pitchers. Shoulder and elbow injuries and the resulting pain are major issues for baseball players. As reported in a recent systematic review, elbow varus and shoulder external rotation torques at peak external shoulder rotation during pitching, high pitch velocity, glenohumeral internal rotation deficit (GIRD), shoulder external rotation insufficiency In addition, preseason GIRD, weakness in prone external rotation strength9, and supraspinatus weakness are significant risk factors for injuries in high school baseball players, and pitching > 100 innings in a year, training > 16 h per week, a history of elbow pain, an age of 9–11 years, and playing pitcher or catcher are risk factors for elbow injuries in youth baseball players. Improving shoulder internal rotation range of motion by stretching the posterior shoulder muscles daily was associated with a 36% risk reduction of shoulder and elbow injuries. Group-based arm care exercise programs that target multiple musculoskeletal impairments demonstrated an approximately 50% reduced risk of elbow injury.

Lower Body Injuries in Softball and Baseball 

The multiple phases of baseball, which include batting, base running, pitching/throwing, and fielding, each present with unique demands that individual athletes can rapidly cycle through, all with the potential to produce injury. Sliding, in which players make either an aggressive head-first or feet-first dive toward a plate, can result in LE injury, with ankle injuries accounting for 23.8% of feet-first slide injuries Hip dynamics are heavily involved in the throwing process, particularly among pitchers, while swift running in the outfield can contribute to a multitude of acute and chronic pathologies of the thigh and knee Research has shows that the average days missed due to lower extremity injuries is 45.7 days. With the most common areas being the thigh- the quadriceps and hamstring . If this worries you , put your mind at ease and book your assessment to see if we need to help you at Health Wise Chiropractic

Baseball Practice
Baseball Bats
Physical Therapy Session

Batter's Shoulder and how chiropractic can help 

Batter’s shoulder is a subtype of posterior glenohumeral instability caused by the significant forces experienced by the lead shoulder during the baseball swing. Although an uncommon injury, batter’s shoulder is a source of significant time away from competition. The researchers found an overall injury rate of 3.16 per 1000 athlete exposures In their study, 16.1% of all injuries involved the shoulder and 13.4% of all injuries occurred while batting Research has defined the swing of the baseball bat in 4 phases. wind up, pre-swing, swing, and follow-through . The swing phase is a dynamic and rapidly accelerating sequence of force transfer. This process is initiated from the ground and travels up the kinetic chain before culminating in the delivery of force from the bat into the baseball. The classic injury mechanism for batter’s shoulder occurs when a player swings and misses while reaching for an outside pitch. When attempting to make contact with a pitch located farther away from their body, hitters make biomechanical adjustments that may predispose the lead shoulder to injury hitters demonstrated an increased shoulder adduction angle (105°) when hitting an outside pitch compared to 90° when hitting an inside pitch. Researchers hypothesized that an increased shoulder adduction angle may increase the glenohumeral shear forces by approximately 13.5% What are the symptoms of batters shoulder? Players will often report pain when hitting, but their symptoms may also be recreated by forward flexion, adduction, and internal rotation The aim of Chiropractic treatment is to restore of range of motion, peri-scapular muscle coordination, and rotator cuff strengthening

Hip Strength and Pitching Biomechanics in Adolescent Baseball Pitchers

In baseball, researchers have shown that pitchers account for a larger proportion of injured players than other positions, and their injuries are more likely to need surgical intervention. Pitching is a dynamic task that creates stressful and unnatural motions in the upper extremity, reaching levels of forces up to 5 times a pitcher's body weight Throughout the course of a pitcher's career, the repetitive throwing motion increases the risk for injury at the shoulder and elbow joints, which are well-recognised problems in baseball pitchers. Continuous medial elbow valgus overloading during the throwing motion can lead to ulnar collateral ligament injury. excessive shoulder internal-rotation torques can contribute to rotator cuff and other shoulder joint injuries Decreased range of motion (ROM) in both the upper and the lower extremities, unbalanced muscular strength, and fatigue were identified as risk factors for throwing injuries in softball players. Within the upper extremity, strength and ROM of the rotator cuff muscles, biceps, and extensors of the forearm were emphasised. The main focus of the lower extremity was the strength of the gluteal muscles and ROM of the lumbopelvic-hip complex.

Baseball Game
Physical Therapy Session
Softball Closeup

Low Back Pain in Baseball- Softball and how Chiropractic can help

Baseball players routinely experience high torsional and rotational forces on lumbar spine during hitting and throwing. Hitting requires initiation of a violent lumbar rotation with rotation of the hips, and leads to lumbar strain if not timed correctly. Swinging a bat generates extremely high compressive loads on the spine. In similar high-speed rotational sports like golf, the compressive load is over six times body weight From a pitching perspective, pitching can lead to back stiffness, sacroiliac joint pain or discogenic or facet joint pain. Improper sequencing of the trunk and torso can alter upper extremity joint loading that may increase injury risk Among professional baseball players in their 20s, lumbar degeneration was less common, and they most frequently developed diseases less related to degeneration, such as lumbar disc herniation . However, among players in their 30s, lumbar degeneration was more advanced, and degenerative diseases such as discogenic pain occurred more frequently

6 phases of pitching and how Chiropractors improve performance 

The 6 Phases of Pitching Incorrect technique involving each of these phases has been identified and can result in an increased risk of injury 1st Lets describe each phase then what can go wrong Wind-up Wind-up is the classic phase in which many envision a pitcher preparing to deliver the pitch. In this phase, the hands are brought together in the mid-torso region and the knee of the lead leg is lifted into the air Stride During the stride phase, or early cocking, the velocity of the pitch is generated. The lead leg extends while the pelvis rotates and the arm assumes the cocking position. The back foot must remain planted during this phase Late cocking Many of the shoulder and elbow injuries experienced by pitchers are encountered during the late cocking phase . This is likely due to the fact that elbow valgus and rotational shoulder torque are highest during this phase. Much of the energy from the lower body is transferred to the upper body as it rotates towards the batter. This phase begins when the lead foot strikes the ground Acceleration During the acceleration phase, the shoulder internally rotates, the elbow extends, and the elbow flexes as the energy produced by the body is transferred to the baseball. Deceleration In this phase, the baseball is released and the internal rotation of the arm is slowed. The rotator cuff muscles are activated to resist the forward movement of the arm. Follow-through The pitching motion is completed and the force generated by the body is dissipated. The body assumes a relaxed position to allow for fielding of the baseball. Flaws in the pitching motion A pitcher may be more successful in correcting poor throwing habits early in the pitching motion. Researchers have found that it is easier to change throwing biomechanics prior to foot strike rather than later in the motion around ball release If the pitching arm is lagging behind the body before acceleration, it is not taking advantage of the potential energy created in the cocking phases. This is often referred to as throwing “all arm” Higher elbow valgus stress has been correlated with poor trunk rotation timing along with increased shoulder external rotation angle and joint force The power position is important for the analysis of a pitcher. It is located at the end of the early cocking phase when the foot strikes the ground. A correct power position has the lead arm out in front with 70–80 degrees of shoulder abduction and the elbow flexed around 90 degrees with the wrist positioned facing the pitcher. This position is referred to as the “tell time position. An incorrect power position can inform the clinician that there is a breakdown earlier in the motion hindering the thrower’s ability to achieve this position correctly. Timing is negatively impacted if the correct power position is not obtained. Hyper-abduction, often referred to as “loading,” should be minimised in the pitching motion. When viewing from anterior, the ball should be obscured by the pitcher’s head. The hand should be on top of the ball and facing third base for right-handed pitchers or first base for left-handed pitchers. The lead foot should be pointed towards home plate in a slightly internally rotated or “closed” position An excessively closed front foot can lead to the pitcher throwing across their body. This closes off the front leg and pelvis which does not allow proper energy transfer from the lower body to the pitching arm. This often leads to a timing error and the pitching arm lags behind the body, placing more stress on shoulder complex and elbow as the arm moves from acceleration to ball release. If the pitcher displays an open front foot position the opposite can occur with the pelvis opening too soon and allowing early pelvic rotation. This can also create an arm lag which places significant valgus stress on the elbow. Five (stride length, front foot position, shoulder external rotation, shoulder abduction, and elbow flexion) were assessed at foot strike. Time between peak pelvis angular velocity and peak upper trunk angular velocity and knee extension from foot contact to ball release were evaluated in the arm cocking or acceleration stage. Shoulder abduction was assessed at ball release. They found correction rates were highest with front foot position (67%) and time between peak pelvis angular velocity and peak upper trunk angular velocity (64%). Parameters most difficult to correct were later in the pitching sequence. This included knee extension from foot contact to ball release (23%) and shoulder abduction at ball release (32%). Researchers concluded that less than 50% of the parameters could be altered and it was toughest to adjust later in the pitching motion

Softball Catcher
Physical Therapy Session

The importance of the hip in pitching

Pitchers showed more internal rotation on their stance hip and more external rotation on their stride hip. Although the mean differences are small, there is a subset of pitchers with defined characteristics in whom larger differences exist. Hip motion is an essential component of pitching as the kinetic energy produced by hip and pelvic motion directly affects ball velocity during the throwing action. Pitchers have been shown to have decreased hip abduction strength and hip internal rotation (IR) in their dominant (stance) leg compared with position players. Abnormal hip motion can lead to alterations in the kinetic chain causing increased force through the shoulder and decreased velocity.This could lead to both upper and lower extremity injuries. Other research indicated that the hip abduction, adduction, external rotation, and internal rotation strengths of both throwing and nonthrowing sides decreased after repetitive throwing. Hip muscle strength is important for force generation, transfer, absorption, and stabilisation of the body as it moves over the lower extremity during the throwing motion). Regarding changes in hip strength, researcher found that hip abductor and adductor strength among college baseball players decreased after 117 repetitive throws. In addition, after the cocking phase, both the throwing and nonthrowing sides require not only hip abduction/adduction movements but also hip rotation movements

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