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Study finds pitching mound height affects throwing motion, injury risk
Date:3/22/2008

heres a greater amount of stress on the joint surface and surrounding structures. That greater stress may result in injury to the shoulder including tearing of the rotator cuff or labrum which may result in surgery and long-term rehabilitation. It also can make it difficult for the athlete to replicate the same throw and develop a consistent strike, Dr. Raasch says.

The most notable kinematic difference was the increase in shoulder external rotation at foot contact. This probably represents a change in the timing of the foot contact relative to arm position, because the foot lands earlier in the pitch delivery during flat ground throwing than with a slope, he says.

While the study did not result in enough data to recommend reducing the 10-inch mound height, which became standard in 1968 and also used in college and high school baseball, Dr. Raasch says the findings give trainers information that can help them determine if pitchers would be better off practicing on flat ground especially after an injury.

Nolan Ryan, who played major league baseball for 27 years, often threw pitches more than 100 mph, even past the age of 40, and he liked to throw on flat ground in his waning years. I think others might follow his lead, Dr. Raasch says. He adds that he hopes subsequent research during spring training in 2008 will provide even more valuable findings for baseball players and trainers.


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Contact: Toranj Marphatia
toranj@mcw.edu
414-456-4700
Medical College of Wisconsin
Source:Eurekalert

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