According to research from Charles A. Thigpen, PT, PhD, ATC, from ATI Physical Therapy in Greenville, South Carolina, a preseason training program focusing on arm injury prevention may be beneficial for young baseball pitchers.

The research, presented during the recent American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s Specialty Day, suggests that athletes who participated in a well-monitored preseason training program showed improvement in arm flexibility and strength, which may contribute to a diminished risk of arm injury, according to a media release from ATI Physical Therapy.

Study participants included 143 pitchers (median age: 15.7). Among these, 88 participated in additional preseason training and 76 continued with normal training, per the release.

The preseason training program, supervised by an athletic trainer, included resistance training with dumbbell weights and elastic tubing, as well as flexibility exercises, four times per week for approximately 15 minutes at a time.

The results suggest that pitchers who had previous injuries and participated in the preseason training program were four times less likely to suffer an injury than those in the general arm care program, according to the release.

“If we can encourage parents, coaches, and youth baseball organizations across the country to adopt similar programs, athletes may have a better chance for reducing time off the field because of injury, especially considering the increased effectiveness of the program in preventing subsequent arm injuries,” Thigpen states in the release.

“Since a large percentage of these kids will end up pursuing other professional areas in their adult years, why not take precautionary measures now to prevent long-term damage?” he adds.

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association Research and Education Foundation funded the study, per the release.

For more information, visit American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine or STOP Sports Injuries.

[Source(s): ATI Physical Therapy, PR Newswire]