A study involving several Major League Baseball pitchers indicates that the height of the pitchers mound can affect the athletes throwing arm motion, which may lead to potential injuries because of stress on the shoulder and elbow.
The study was led by William Raasch, M.D., associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, who also is the head team physician for the Milwaukee Brewers. Major League Baseball funded the study in an effort to help prevent injuries among professional baseball players.
The results of the study were presented at the 2007 MLB Winter Meetings at the joint session of the Major League Baseball Team Physicians Association and Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society.
The researchers recruited 20 top-level, elite pitchers from Major League Baseball organizations and Milwaukee-area NCAA Division I-A college pitchers for the study, which was conducted both during 2007 spring training in Arizona and at the Froedtert & Medical College Sports Medicine Center in Milwaukee.
Our researchers employed a motion analysis system using eight digital cameras that recorded the three-dimensional positions of 43 reflective markers placed on the athletes bodies. Then we analyzed the pitching motion at mound heights of the regulation 10-inches, along with eight-inch and six-inch mounds, as well as having the athletes throw from flat ground, Dr. Raasch explains.
The study focused on determining if there is increased stress on the shoulder or the elbow based on the height from which the pitcher has thrown. A kinematic analysis provided information regarding pitching motion (position and velocity), while the kinetic analysis determined the forces and torques generated at the shoulder and elbow.
We found that compared to flat ground, pitchers using a 10-inch mound experience an increase in superior shear and adduction torque in the shoulder meaning t
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Medical College of Wisconsin