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Monday, April 11, 2016

Preseason (Baseball) Arm Injury Prevention Programs

Spring has sprung, and baseball season is about here. If you have a young slugger playing ball, new research suggests that organized preseason arm injury prevention programs could lead to fewer injuries and decreased loss of playing time.

The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) conducted a study on well-monitored preseason training programs for kids. The goal of the study was to determine if repeated arm flexibility and strength conditioning in the off-season could ultimately diminish the risk of injuries during the regular season. The study paid particular attention to pitchers who often suffer the most due to the repetitive nature of throwing the ball.

Specifics include:
  • The study evaluated 143 pitchers with a median age of 15.7 years old.
  • Eighty-eight of the pitchers participated in preseason training, while the rest began training at the start of the season.
  • The prevention program was supervised by an athletic trainer.
  • Resistance training with dumbbell weights and elastic tubing, along with targeted flexibility exercises, were incorporated.
  • The program require a fifteen-minute commitment from pitchers, for four times a week.
Pitchers involved in this preventing program experienced reduced internal rotation (IR) and horizontal adduction (HA) deficits as well as other common overuse injuries affecting the arm, elbow, and shoulder.

Those who had past injuries and completed the preseason training were four times less likely to suffer a new injury that those who did not. The AOSSM hopes that this information will encourage parents, coaches, schools, and other baseball organizations to adopt such programs and help kids avoid injury.

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