2023 Volume 26 Issue 3 Pages 89-97
Objectives: The coordination of glenohumeral (GH) and scapular movements is central to the injury prevention of baseball pitchers. However, there is no objective data establishing the direct relationship between pitching injuries and associated GH and scapular movements. Therefore, this study demonstrated the biomechanical differences in the scapular and GH movements during pitching between injury-prone pitchers and healthy college baseball pitchers. Methods: A total of 30 collegiate baseball pitchers were classified into two groups according to their injury status: injury-prone group (n = 15) and control group (n = 15). We obtained pitching motion data using three-dimensional motion analysis technique. Results: The horizontal abduction angles of the GH joint during cocking and acceleration phases were considerably greater in the injury-prone pitchers (19.0° at stride foot contact [SFC], −4.0° at maximum external rotation [MER], and −0.3° at ball release) than those in healthy controls (11.7° at SFC, −10.0° at MER, and −6.9° at ball release). Additionally, in the cocking phase, the amount of angular change in the scapular external rotation (ER) was significantly smaller in the injury-prone group than that in the control group (mean difference, −13.0). Conclusion: These results suggest that the injury-prone pitchers have less internal rotation of the scapula and a more horizontal abduction of the GH joint during the cocking and acceleration phases. Therefore, sports medicine practitioners may need to pay considerable attention to the coordination of scapular and GH horizontal movements during pitching for prevention of shoulder injuries.