The Role of the Scapula in Throwing Disorders


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Abstract

Shoulder injuries in the thrower can prove a challenge to diagnose and treat. Overhead throwing is an intricate motion that places considerable torque on the shoulder. The complex interplay of the scapula with the glenohumeral joint and its surrounding musculature allows elite pitchers to achieve speeds >95 miles per hour. An understanding of scapular motion is integral to diagnose and treat shoulder pathology in these athletes. Treatment is aimed at addressing the underlying cause with a physical rehabilitation program. Although nonoperative care is the most predictable and useful treatment, occasionally operative treatment is necessary. This chapter will outline normal scapular motion during throwing, the effects of common shoulder disorders on throwing mechanics, and the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of these conditions.

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