"We'll eventually explore whether improving lumbopelvic control makes a difference by reducing injury. That's what everybody would like to know," he said.
Participating pitchers played on teams at the developmental, minor league or major league level.
Researchers tested their lumbopelvic control by assessing how much the pelvis tilted forward or backward as each pitcher lifted a single foot about 10 centimeters in a movement similar to stepping up on a curb or beginning a pitching motion. The scientists placed an iPod-based tilt sensor on each participant's sacrum, where the spine and pelvis meet, to make the assessment. A score was assigned to each player based on the magnitude of the tilt.
The relatively minimal raise of the foot was intentional.
"If a pitcher raises his knee really high, the pelvis has to tip. We weren't interested in measuring that. We were interested in measuring how well they control the pelvis before it has to move," Chaudhari said. "We also wanted a test that is more broadly applicable."
Throughout the season that followed spring training, medical staff from each baseball organization recorded the days players missed. A missed day for the purposes of this research was defined as any day on which a study participant could not complete his scheduled work because of an injury suffered during baseball-related activity.
The majority of injuries recorded were elbow and shoulder strains, tears and fractures. Fewer pitchers were sidelined by back problems and leg strains.
The participants were placed in one of three categories those whose pelvises tilted less than 4 degrees, between 4 and 7.9 degrees and more than 8 degrees from the starting position. They also were categorized by the total numbers of days missed to injury during t
|Contact: Ajit Chaudhari|
Ohio State University