Speaker discusses ways to prevent throwing injuries in athletes
PHILADELPHIA — Posture, the kinetic chain and medical history are several factors that should be reviewed in the prevention and treatment of throwing injuries in athletes, according to a presenter at the Advances in Throwing Symposium.
Posture plays an important role in preventing throwing injuries, according to Brian Cammarota, ATC, PT, DPT, CSCS, who also noted proper breathing techniques can help improve posture.
“If we breathe well, we are going to live well. We are going to move better [and] we are going to do better,” Cammarota said in his presentation.
In injured throwers, Cammarota said he examines the rib cage before examining the scapula.
“If I fix the scapula ... but I have somebody who is in a terrible position and their rib cage does not know how to move correctly, I am only fixing part of the problem,” Cammarota said. “I am not optimizing them in a full way.”
He added orthopedic surgeons should also examine the thoracic spine, which moves as an athlete performs throwing motions, as well as the athlete’s kinetic chain to make sure the patient has the motion and pattern needed to throw. The kinetic chain can be assessed several ways, Cammarota noted, including through use of functional movement systems and the National Academy of Sports Medicine assessments. Cammarota noted he utilizes the system from the Postural Restoration Institute, which is centered on breathing and deep squat positions.
“How do we expect them to throw a baseball, kick a soccer ball, play basketball if they cannot squat and they cannot move?” Cammarota said.
Some of the greatest risks of injuries include previous injury, previous surgery, glenohumeral internal rotation deficit, poor scapula, poor functional movement patterns, the amount of rest in the off season and the number of pitches thrown, according to Cammarota.
Communication among all staff members is important for an athlete to make a full recovery, he noted, and that orthopedic surgeons and athletic trainers should work with a pitching coach to teach pitchers how to pitch correctly and reduce the risk of future injury. Cammarota added that it is okay to continue to use tried and true treatments, but to remain flexible to improvement.
“I do not see anything wrong with saying I have done this before, it is effective, I am going to continue to do this,” Cammarota said. “But ask why. Why am I doing this? What do I need to do differently? How do I correct this? Be flexible to change.” – by Casey Tingle
Cammarota B. Early injury recognition: What I learned from the Phillies. Presented at: Advances in Throwing Symposium: Latest on Injury Treatment and Performance Optimization; March 2, 2019; Philadelphia.
Disclosure: Cammarota reports no relevant financial disclosures.