Presentation Title

Descriptive Analysis of Elbow Varus Torque in Adolescent Pitchers Using Wearable Technology

Authors' Names

Ian Davies

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Artist Statement

Purpose:The complex and explosive nature of the baseball pitching motion takes years to master and subjects pitchers to high risk for overuse injury. Adolescent baseball pitchers who throw at least 8 months per year are considered 5 times more likely to sustain an elbow or shoulder injury. Despite recommendations against this behavior in literature and recommendations by the Baseball Medical and Safety Advisory Committee, many adolescent pitchers continue to throw year-round. The purpose of this study was to assess the magnitude of elbow varus torque in adolescent baseball pitchers that throw at least 8 months per year. Methods:In total, 10 adolescent pitchers were included in the study and 200 pitches were analyzed. Participants self-reported throwing between 10-12 months per year. Average height, weight, and age were 180.3 cm ±6.6, 72.7 kg ±11.8, and 15.2 years ±0.63 respectively. Data was collected during the participant's regularly scheduled team practice. Participants performed their team’s dynamic warm-up and throwing drills prior to data collection as part of their practice routine. The motusBaseball sensor, a triaxial gyroscope and accelerometer, was placed directly over the medial the elbow. Each subject pitched a 20-pitch fastball-only training bullpen session to a catcher. Elbow varus torque data was wirelessly transferred to the motusThrow application on the researcher’s mobile device. Descriptive statistics were used to determine mean standard deviation and confidence intervals for elbow varus torque. Results:The mean elbow varus torque across the 200 pitches was 36.05 Nm ±9.6; however, a wide range (14-68 Nm) was observed. Conclusion: The mean elbow varus torques observed were similar to those in the existing literature which did not control for annual throwing volume (throwing at least 8 months per year). Similarly, the wide range in elbow varus torque is also consistent with the literature.

Mentor Name

Valerie Moody

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Feb 22nd, 5:00 PM Feb 22nd, 6:00 PM

Descriptive Analysis of Elbow Varus Torque in Adolescent Pitchers Using Wearable Technology

UC North Ballroom

Purpose:The complex and explosive nature of the baseball pitching motion takes years to master and subjects pitchers to high risk for overuse injury. Adolescent baseball pitchers who throw at least 8 months per year are considered 5 times more likely to sustain an elbow or shoulder injury. Despite recommendations against this behavior in literature and recommendations by the Baseball Medical and Safety Advisory Committee, many adolescent pitchers continue to throw year-round. The purpose of this study was to assess the magnitude of elbow varus torque in adolescent baseball pitchers that throw at least 8 months per year. Methods:In total, 10 adolescent pitchers were included in the study and 200 pitches were analyzed. Participants self-reported throwing between 10-12 months per year. Average height, weight, and age were 180.3 cm ±6.6, 72.7 kg ±11.8, and 15.2 years ±0.63 respectively. Data was collected during the participant's regularly scheduled team practice. Participants performed their team’s dynamic warm-up and throwing drills prior to data collection as part of their practice routine. The motusBaseball sensor, a triaxial gyroscope and accelerometer, was placed directly over the medial the elbow. Each subject pitched a 20-pitch fastball-only training bullpen session to a catcher. Elbow varus torque data was wirelessly transferred to the motusThrow application on the researcher’s mobile device. Descriptive statistics were used to determine mean standard deviation and confidence intervals for elbow varus torque. Results:The mean elbow varus torque across the 200 pitches was 36.05 Nm ±9.6; however, a wide range (14-68 Nm) was observed. Conclusion: The mean elbow varus torques observed were similar to those in the existing literature which did not control for annual throwing volume (throwing at least 8 months per year). Similarly, the wide range in elbow varus torque is also consistent with the literature.