Monday, May 10, 2010
Baseball Shoulder Injuries
Baseball Shoulder Injuries
Baseball Shoulder Injuries Or Want To Prevent Them? Let's Start Thinking New School Shoulder Health!
Part 1 By Dr. Norm Eng
Available online now: Eliminate Shoulder Pain and Bullet-Proof Your Shoulders - While You Increase Throwing Power and Velocity - In Just 7-10 Minutes/Day
Time and time again, I've been approached by baseball players complaining of shoulder pain. Most of the time these players will either point to the anterior or middle deltoid region. Before I ask any questions, I'll step back and observe for any postural abnormalities. Low and behold I'll see big pecs, wide lat dorsii and bulky biceps. Nine out of ten times they'll have a hunched posture like a silver back gorilla. If you don't know what one looks like, follow the trail of banana peels then look for someone with King Kong type features.
The famous Czech manual therapist Vladimir Janda, MD, BSc described such postural disproportion as Upper Cross Syndrome (UCS). He proposed that UCS leads to postural malalignments that can create chronic tightness of the upper traps, levator scapulae, and pec major and minor, while longus colli and capitus, serratus anterior, middle traps and rhomboids become inhibited or weak. Such dysfunction may lead to subsequent joint dysfunction and pain that may manifest throughout the body. Janda's findings have opened new doors about muscle weakness and the etiologies behind such phenomena.
First we have to break from conventional definitions of weak to truly understand this concept in order to apply it to athletes with baseball shoulder injuries. First we must define weak. Is weak not being able to bench press 400 lbs? Is it not being able to curl 60lb dumbbells? Is it the muscle that's weak or is there a neurological deficit present caused by a pinched nerve? As you can see weak is an umbrella term in the strength and performance field. In orthopaedic testing, weakness is present, for example, when resistance of a muscle on the left is not as great as on the right or vice versa.
The main muscle I would like to focus on today is the supraspinatus. The supraspinatus is probably one of the most common muscles to exhibit dysfunction and baseball shoulder injuries in athletes, particularly baseball players. It is a relatively small muscle that is part of the rotator cuff and acts as a dynamic stabilizer to help elevate the shoulder and hold it in the socket.
Its function among baseball players is to also help decelerate the throwing arm towards the end of the range of motion. Just imagine the stress that it undergoes from just one game! Often it's a primary pain generator in the shoulder for athletes and non athletes alike. It is often assumed in the strength and condition world that to make the supraspinatus stronger, we must load the muscle. WRONG!! That's old school. This is a resilient muscle that requires fine tuning like a race car engine. Let's think new school people!
(Editor's Note) In part 2 Dr. Eng will explain more about the shoulder and how it pertains to baseball players and baseball shoulder injuries. Even more important, he will go into specific ways to help you develop a healthy, pain free shoulder!
Norman is a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic specializing in sports therapy and rehabilitation. He is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He received his doctorate from the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic in 2007 graduating summa cum laude.
Norman has treated numerous athletes in events like the New York City Marathon and The Gold Cup Soccer Tournament. He was also a strength and condition consultant to the University of Bridgeport athletic department. Norman is particularly fond of techniques like ART (Active Release Technique) and Graston Technique in his treatment approach. For questions or comments Dr. Eng can be reached at neng7 AT hotmail.com
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