Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Athletic Training (MAT)

Degree Name

Health and Human Performance (Athletic Training Program Option)

Department or School/College

Health and Human Performance

Committee Chair

Melanie L. McGrath

Commitee Members

Valerie R. Moody, Jake Mischke


University of Montana


Upper extremity injuries are very common in collegiate and professional baseball pitchers. Approximately 60% of all injuries in collegiate baseball are due to throwing, and pitchers suffer over 70% of throwing-related injuries. In Major League Baseball (MLB), about 50% of players on the disabled list were pitchers, and the injury rate for pitchers is 34 % higher than position players. Therefore, there is a significant need for injury prevention programs to effectively reduce injuries in the population. Although numerous research has been devoted to the study of risk factors and treatment of baseball-related injuries in youth and adolescent players, there have been very few studies on exercise-based injury prevention programs for collegiate or professional baseball pitchers. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to create an evidence-based exercise prescription that clinicians can use to alter factors that may be related to a higher risk of shoulder injury in collegiate and professional baseball pitchers. In order to create an evidence-based program to prevent shoulder injuries in baseball pitchers, three steps were taken: (1) risk factors for shoulder injury were defined via a review of prospective studies; (2) interventions that target and change each risk factor were identified in the literature; and (3) an injury-prevention exercise program was designed using effective interventions. The evidence-based review of the risk factors for shoulder injuries revealed that range of motion (ROM) deficits in the throwing shoulder, preseason rotator cuff weakness, and poor lumbopelvic control (degree of anterior-posterior pelvic tilt) are major factors that increase injury risk in collegiate and professional baseball pitchers. The cross-body stretch is effective at improving ROM deficits including posterior shoulder tightness and glenohumeral internal rotation deficit. Rotator cuff muscles are strengthened by exercises which efficiently activate dynamic stabilization around shoulder girdle. The pelvic tilt is corrected by exercises that target the multifidi and transverse abdominus. This injury-prevention exercise program can be used by clinicians in the preseason and early season to potentially reduce the risk of injury in collegiate and professional baseball players. This can also serve as a model for injury-prevention research in this population.



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