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The shoulder in baseball pitching: biomechanics and related injuries-part 1.

The extreme range of motion at the shoulder, the high angular velocities and torques, and the repetitious nature of the pitching motion combine to make the shoulder vulnerable to injury during the baseball pitch. An understanding of the biomechanics that contribute to shoulder injuries during each phase of the pitching motion can facilitate the athlete's diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation. Common injuries that occur during the late cocking and acceleration phases of the pitch include anterior instability and impingement, bicipital tendinitis, and subacromial impingement. Nonoperative treatment consisting of an initial period of rest and NSAIDS, followed by physical therapy and a gradual return to activity, is usually successful. When this approach fails, surgical intervention, either arthroscopic or open, may be necessary. Physical therapy and rehabilitation are directed toward restoring the integrity and strength of the dynamic and static stabilizers of the shoulder joint, yet preserving the range of motion necessary for performance. Through rehabilitation, the dedicated athlete can often return to the pitching mound at his previous level of performance.

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