Prevention: Protect the shoulder

For pitchers, shoulder injuries are more than a remote possibility. They are a probability. In an effort to help young athletes, Dr. Tanya Hagen, a sports medicine specialist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, shared her thoughts on injury prevention.

1 Mechanics matter. Hagan advises pitchers to refine their delivery before taking the mound in competitive situations. “If you have poor throwing mechanics, it doesn’t matter how strong or flexible you are or how stable your joints are,” Hagen said. “You are bound to have something break down. The mechanics start with the placing of your feet, the rotation of your ankles, the strength of your core … and it ends without too much force through the arm.” Pitchers must use good mechanics and proper fundamentals and have balanced strength throughout their bodies.

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