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796-810-Hand and Wrist III
Friday, Mar 22, 2013, 4:48 PM - 4:54 PM
McCormick Place, Room N426
The Effects of a Posture Shirt on Throwing Velocity, Throwing Accuracy and Vascular Blood Flow
+ Arthroscopy (Hand/Wrist)
C T. Vangsness Jr
, MD, Los Angeles, California
, PhD, Del Mar, California
, Houston, Texas
INTRODUCTION: Strength and balance is a very important part of baseball. With fatigue, pitchers lose control. A commercial posture shirt has been demonstrated to improve scapular position and increase rotator cuff strength. The purpose of this study was to evaluate effects of this posture shirt on: 1) Throwing velocity, 2) Throwing control, 3) The vascular blood flow and blood pressure in the throwing of the arm.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Under an Institutional Review Board protocol, six professional baseball players were evaluated during the baseball preseason. Velocity was measured with radar gun and position was judged by the ability to hit the lower right quarter of the strike zone in those right hand dominant pitchers. Wrist brachial index blood pressures and brachial ultrasound measurements were taken before and after the first simulated three innings of pitching of eight warm up throws and 15 fast balls from the stretched position. The next measurement was made after the second inning and the final measurements were taken after the third inning using the same pitching sequence. Twenty minutes after the third inning was completed the final vascular measurements were made.
RESULTS: Velocity increased among all pitchers (FIG 1). The pitchers wearing the posture shirt demonstrated a difference of 3.2 miles per hour (P=.05). The accuracy measurements showed a trend with the posture shirt improved accuracy by 28% though this is not statiscally significant (P=.08). The vascular measurements showed no change in wrist-brachial-index with the posture shirt at all time points and all arms showed increased blood flow which returned to normal after 20 minutes of rest (P=05).
DISCUSSION: Pitching is a difficult skill which requires conditioning, strength and athletic ability. These results demonstrate that with the posture shirt statistically improved pitch velocity and tended to show improvements in throwing accuracy. This study helps to define some of the physiologic changes that occur during pitching.
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