COLUMBUS, Ohio New research suggests that professional baseball pitchers with poor core stability are more likely to miss 30 or more days in a single season because of injury than are pitchers who have good control of muscles in their lower back and pelvis.
In the study, 347 pitchers were assessed for lumbopelvic control during spring training. Pitchers with more tilt in their pelvis as they raised a leg to step up were up to three times more likely to miss at least 30 days cumulative, not consecutive during the season than were pitchers who showed minimal tilt in their pelvis.
The study shows association, not causation, but does suggest that pitchers might benefit from training to improve their lumbopelvic control essentially, a more stable core during movement.
Researchers say these findings and previous studies suggest that "task-specific training" mimicking real-world, quick-reaction activities as opposed to such static moves as crunches and planks could be an effective core-strengthening approach for pitchers and other active people.
"The nice thing about lumbopelvic control is that there's not any downside we can think of to trying to improve it," said Ajit Chaudhari, associate professor of health and rehabilitation sciences and of orthopaedics at The Ohio State University and lead author of the study.
The research, published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, suggests that a well-controlled core can minimize interference of energy's movement through the body from the legs to the throwing arm.
"The core could help prevent injury by spreading out the energy load, allowing pitchers to use their legs more and their throwing arm less," Chaudhari said. "A stabilized core lets energy pass through it rather than getting lost as the core moves around, leading to less torque on the shoulder and elbow and better efficiency that helps with performance."
Chaudhari noted that most
|Contact: Ajit Chaudhari|
Ohio State University