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    KINES 199 Fall 2017

NPR on Tommy John

A podcast describing the increase in this sport-related injury, and technologies that can help prevent it.

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In this NPR audio podcast, the radio hosts are discussing the startling and alarming increasing rates of injuries from baseball pitchers, and the shocking rise of Tommy John surgeries performed. This is a surgery in which, (due to poor... more »In this NPR audio podcast, the radio hosts are discussing the startling and alarming increasing rates of injuries from baseball pitchers, and the shocking rise of Tommy John surgeries performed. This is a surgery in which, (due to poor biomechanics/overuse) the Ulnar Collateral ligament must be reconstructed, and is often replaced with a tendon from somewhere else in the body, or from a donor. It is an extremely painful and grueling process. The podcast discuses a revolutionary technology which has the ability to preciously measure the tension, strain and force exerted in the muscles and bone structure during the motion of throwing a ball. With the intent to alert athletes of incorrect and potentially damaging form. This is relevant to what we are currently learning, because the viewings and observations are consistent with those of the Biomechanical Period. In which examiners use description of movements, and patterns in movement to perform higher quality fundamental skills, such as throwing a baseball. The main goal of this period was to identify the sequential course of action need for improvement that athletes must follow to achieve maximal biomechanical efficiency. In baseball players, especially those from the mid to early teens, individuals and coaches need to develop their pitching style from a biomechanical perspective, the meticulous learning would result in near perfection with throwing form, ergo limiting injuries and reducing the number of Tommy John surgeries. Furthermore, the process of throwing a baseball in is direct relation to a kinetic chain of energy (as pictured) Preforming this chain in an incorrect order will result in sub-optimal form and poor biomechanics, thereby increasing the athlete’s likelihood to injury. For pitchers with elbow issues, the most important parts of the chain to consider would be between steps 3 and 4, which places a high amount of pressure and force on the elbow region. 08-30-2017 6:18pm

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