Baseball Pitcher's Neck Mobility associated with Shoulder and Elbow Injury

Baseball Pitcher's Neck Mobility associated with Shoulder and Elbow Injury

Quick Neck Literature Review Series - #1

In honor of the MLB season fast approaching, and growing connections between NecksLevel and MLB teams, what better place to start a Neck Literature Review Series than with Baseball pitchers.

Dr. Laurie Devaney PT, ATC, PhD and colleagues published a paper titled "Preseason Neck Mobility Is Associated With Throwing-Related Shoulder and Elbow Injuries, Pain, and Disability in College Baseball Pitchers" in 2020 in the Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine.

Their most significant finding came from preseason measures of the Cervical Flexion-Rotation Test (CFRT), which identified pitchers at 9x greater risk of in-season injury if the dominant arm-side CFRT was <39 degrees.

A few things I'm left pondering:
-Why was only the dominant-side CFRT measure relevant? The follow through phase of the pitch finds the neck in dominant side rotation (Right hand pitcher in right cervical rotation).
-This study looked at standard neck rotation ROM, and also CFRT. Standard measures of rotation weren't found to be notable. So now our sights narrow on the upper cervical spine as a potential culprit...

Looking forward to future validation studies.


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