2021 Volume 6
Objectives: We aimed to examine the relationship between the hip range of motion (ROM) and ankle ROM and throwing-related shoulder and elbow injuries in elementary school baseball pitchers.
Methods: This retrospective comparative study (Level of evidence: Level III) included 195 baseball pitchers (mean age 10.8±1.0 years, range 8–12 years). All pitchers underwent physical function measurements, including height, weight, shoulder strength, and hip and ankle ROM. Shoulder and elbow injury was defined as shoulder and elbow pain that the pitchers had been aware of in the past or at the time of medical checkups. The results for the injured and non-injured groups were then compared.
Results: The shoulder ROM and strength in the injured and non-injured groups did not differ to a statistically significant extent. The hip external rotation on the dominant side (injured vs. non-injured: 48.9±11.1° vs. 53.3±9.7°, P<0.01), the hip internal rotation on the non-dominant side (injured vs. non-injured: 36.6±12.0° vs. 40.9±11.0°, P=0.01), and ankle plantar flexion on the non-dominant side (injured vs. non-injured: 52.0±6.8° vs. 54.3±6.7°, P=0.02) were significantly smaller in the injured group than in the non-injured group.
Conclusions: The hip external rotation ROM on the dominant side and the hip internal rotation and ankle plantar flexion on the non-dominant side were significantly lower in the injured group than in the non-injured group. These results may suggest measures to reduce the incidence of elbow and shoulder injuries in elementary school baseball pitchers.