The Effects of Throwing Arm Position at Foot Contact on Shoulder and Elbow Joint Moments in Baseball Pitching
Pitching is a complex motion that involves one of the quickest actions in all of sports between stride foot contact and ball release. This causes pitchers to endure a lot of stress on the throwing arm, leading to injuries within the elbow and shoulder. The objective of this study is to determine how the arm position of the pitcher at stride food contact affects the elbow and shoulder in high school/collegiate pitchers. Participants are categorized into high, level, and low wrist groups based on wrist position relative to the shoulder. Pitchers will be analyzed with the use of an 8-camera Vicon system to determine kinematic and kinetic parameters. One-way ANOVA followed by a post-hoc analysis is used to compare the outcome variables between high, level, and low wrist groups. Statistical parametric mapping will be used to compare shoulder external rotation angle, and upper torso rotation angles between the low and high wrist groups. There were no significant differences found between demographics between the three groups. The kinetics and certain kinematic variables were significantly different between groups, with the high wrist group exhibiting higher kinetics compared to the low wrist group. The SPM analysis showed the ER angle and upper torso rotation angle were significantly different for the first 70% of the pitching motion. Utilizing a low wrist position relative to the shoulder can be beneficial for reducing high joint kinetics placed on the throwing arm.