With the start of spring training we are bound to start to hear about this year's hot injury topic. The question is will it continue to be Tommy John Surgery (UCL tears) or will a new injury dominate the headlines this spring training. My guess is we will only see yet another rise in the number of UCL tears in baseball. This is due to factors such as early sport specialization and poor throwing mechanics.
What I will be sharing with one you in these videos are the few mechanics check points we want to see our throwers reach in order to decrease torque on the UCL and the shoulder. We must remember that the UCL is graded to withstand 33 newton meters of force and when we throw a baseball we place over 100 newton meters of force on the UCL. If we have athletes repeating this a throwing movement with mechanical flaws they are increasing their risk of injury tremendously.
In part one we discuss the number one red flag in my book which is not getting the hand into a good position when the shoulder goes into abduction and external rotation. We need to make sure our athletes are getting their hand on top of the elbow and shoulder by at least 33 degrees upon foot strike to decrease excess torque on the UCL and shoulder.