, Volume 97, Issue 1 Supplement, pp 9-13
Date: 18 Apr 2013

Motion analysis assessment of alterations in the scapulo-humeral rhythm after throwing in baseball pitchers

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Abstract

Purpose

Throwing a baseball requires a coordinated sequence of scapula and humerus movements also called scapulo-humeral rhythm (SHR). Fatigue associated with repetitive throwing can lead to scapular dyskinesia, a recognized cause of shoulder disability in pitchers and overhead athletes. We introduce a novel device, the Xbus Kit, which can objectively assess scapular biomechanics and the effect of pitching on SHR.

Methods

SHR was studied using the Xbus Kit (Xsens Technologies B.V., NL). Thirteen collegiate baseball pitchers (aged 20 ± 2.6) were studied, evaluating SHR in forward elevation and abduction in three sessions: before throwing (S1), after 60 pitches (S2) and 24 h after a pitching session (S3).

Results

SHR changes were found in 85 % of pitchers (11 cases), and no changes were observed in 2 cases (15 %). We were able to subdivide pitchers into four groups, based on their response to pitching.

Conclusion

Repetitive movement of pitching leads to SHR changes and sometimes, incomplete restoration of normal shoulder biomechanics.