Jan 29, 2015
Looking at Throwing-Related Injuries

Despite preventive measures, such as pitch-counts, arm and shoulder injuries have still made their mark on adolescent baseball players. On Tuesday morning, convention attendees had the opportunity to expand their knowledge in this area by attending, “Prevention Strategies for Throwing-Related Arm Injury in Youth and Adolescent Baseball Players,” led by Joseph Myers, PhD, ATC, Associate Professor of Exercise and Sports Science, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Orthopaedics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This mini-course outlined the current research regarding youth and adolescent arm injury mechanisms and discussed strategies for preventing these injuries. “I talked about how our screening works and the tools we use for it,” Myers says. “The tools that athletic trainers can use as part of their pre-participation screening are pretty simple–they probably already have some of it in their athletic training rooms. So we talked about some of those, such as ultrasound, and also looked at what some research shows in terms of rehab and different kinds of exercise for particular characteristics.”

Along with this information, Myers talked about one of the biggest injury risks–overuse. “One of the main factors is just how much the younger athletes are playing,” he says. “Through our research, we’ve found that these kids are playing too much. One of the main take-home points from this mini-course was the importance of working with parents to make sure that their kids are really having the chance to rest and recover.

“There are guidelines out there–such as pitch counts–but we don’t really know the answer to how much rest is needed,” Myers continues. “A lot of these recommendations were developed based on research, but there’s still a lot of anecdotal information that goes into them. So we’re trying to understand the actual rest and recovery process to see how long it takes for the tissues to return to normal. At this point, we can say that it depends on how much they’re playing, but any respite is going to be beneficial.”

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