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New study looks at biomarkers in assessing pitch count's bearing on injury
Date:2/26/2014

under the guidance of project partner Kevin M. Cooney, PT, manager of rehabilitation services and movement analysis at Shriners. He will be assisted by Jake Gdovin, a graduate student in exercise science at Mercyhurst and a graduate assistant at the Shriners Movement Analysis Lab.

Each student-athlete will be asked to throw a total of 80 pitches, altering the number of consecutive pitches and rest periods, at each of the two sessions.

Researchers are looking for scientific evidence linking the effect of consecutive pitches on fatigue.

"This is the first time Shriners has moved its camera system to another location for data collection," Kevin Cooney said. "We all felt it was a necessary challenge, because the project has to simulate real-life conditions to enhance the reliability of test results. We moved six of our 10-camera system onto tripods to surround the baseball pitching mound and allow for each pitcher to throw the normal distance, simulating innings as if they were in an actual game."

Since previous motion studies have shown movement changes to be subtle, Tim Cooney said the team thought to introduce the concept of biomarkers as a measure of potential injury. Samples of student-athletes' blood drawn before and after pitching sessions will be tested by UPMC Hamot to possibly diagnose joint stress in their bodies.

"Since pitching injuries are primarily of the elbow and shoulder joints, our goal is to try and target a biomarker that would indicate joint stress," Tim Cooney said.

Using Biodex isokinetic muscular testing technology, players will also be evaluated for shoulder power before and after throwing, said Jacobson, who will oversee that process with senior sports medicine/pre-med student Zach Jacobson, who has coordinated this research project to complete his undergraduate academic baccalaureate research project at Mercyhurst.

Each test subject will be evaluated on their ability to pro
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Contact: Debbie Morton
dmorton@mercyhurst.edu
814-824-2552
Mercyhurst College
Source:Eurekalert

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