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Shoulder Injury Prevention for Baseball Players

The Problem The Holy Grail for MLB teams is the 100 mph pitch. Once a luxury, now a necessity. In fact, probably each MLB team has one flame-hurler who can dazzle the crowd with such a performance. Spectators used to be awed by home runs, now their eyes are glued on the stadium radar gun reading of a 100-mph pitch as the slam dunk of baseball everyone wants to see. No less impressive are those laser projectile throws by positional players, sometimes in midair under compromised body positions. Baseball is … Continue Reading

Outlast Your Opponent: Strengthen Your Weak Link

baseball player throwing a pitch

Competitive sports place supra-physiologic loads on the shoulder. Just by simply raising the arm up from the side of the body to reach overhead, 2the rotator cuff is encountering a force nearly equivalent of one’s own body weight due to bio-mechanical forces across the shoulder joint. In extraordinary stressful events such as power lifting, the rotator cuff may face up to more than 7 times body weight. Elite baseball pitchers may experience a distraction force of over 200 pounds in the shoulder after the ball is thrown. Professional male tournament … Continue Reading

Smart Exercise: When Less is More

woman lifting weights

Exercise should be goal oriented, efficient, and effective. Shoulder exercises commonly employ weight training. These exercises comprise one of four linear motions – push, pull, lift, and press. Something has to give when two opposing forces meet. The weight ( e.g. barbell) will move if the shoulder is strong. If the weight is overpowering, the shoulder gives way , resulting in injury. Shoulders fail due to weaker small rotator cuff muscles unable to stabilize the shoulder joint under stress. The importance of well-engaged rotator cuff muscles cannot be over emphasized, … Continue Reading

Can You Avoid Shoulder Injuries : The Role of the Rotator Cuff

Shoulder injuries can occur in one of two ways. Those related to recreational activity and those not related to recreational activity. Non-recreational injuries such as trauma or accidents are unpredictable and difficult to prevent. We can , however, prepare our shoulders to minimize recreational-activity related injuries. More than 25% of all patients seeking medical help each year due to shoulder pain sustained injuries in the gym or in the sports arena. More than 20 % of all sports injuries involve the shoulder. After knee injuries , which is the most … Continue Reading

Rotational Strengthening : The Future of Rotator Cuff Exercises

The shoulder is one of the most commonly injured joints in the body. This is due to the complex arrangement of the surrounding ligaments and tendon muscle groups that are needed for, first , stabilization of the joint, and second, for providing a coordinated movement of the shoulder at varying velocities of acceleration and deceleration. Unlike the hip joint, which includes a bony socket for stable support, the shoulder lacks a bony socket and relies solely on the surrounding muscles, tendons, and ligaments for support and stabilization. The rotator cuff … Continue Reading

Proprioception: Train Your Brain to Train Your Muscle

The graceful backhand by tennis great Roger Federer, the intimidating sizzling fastball by Nolan Ryan, and the effortless execution for a perfect 10.0 on the uneven bars routine by Nadia Comaneci all epitomize impeccable performances of skill and perfection of unparalleled proprioception at5a work. Proprioception is how the body moves. How the body moves is the summation of how the brain controls and adjusts movements in the body; It is reflex and coordination. All movements for our daily functional activities require proprioception. From the basic task of walking to fine … Continue Reading

Shoulder Exercises: The Yin and the Yang

Nothing is static; nothing is absolute. Pieces make up the whole; equilibrium of the whole is harmony. For every force, there is an equal and opposite force. The shoulder is the most mobile of all the joints in the body. Mobility is sacrificed for stability. The hip, while being much less mobile , is in turn much more stable. These exemplify the opposites of the Yin and the Yang. Power muscle groups that move the shoulder do not provide stability; stabilizing muscle groups for the shoulder do not provide power. … Continue Reading

Rotator Cuff Tears: Prevention is Better than the Solution

4.5 million patients seek medical care each year for shoulder pain in the U.S. About half of these are related to the rotator cuff. Of those with rotator cuff problems, about 1 in 7 eventually require surgery. This translates to more than 300,000 rotator cuff surgeries are done each year in the U.S. Rotator cuff tears are usually the result of natural aging processes. Not all rotator cuff tears are symptomatic. However, when they do become symptomatic, it may be quite painful and debilitating that impacts not just one’s ability … Continue Reading