Injuries have been on the rise in baseball pitchers over the past decade. While some may blame it on advanced pitching techniques, there is another factor that is often overlooked: posture. Poor posture has become an epidemic for the younger generations, and it is having a negative effect on arm health in baseball pitchers. In this article, we will discuss how poor posture can lead to arm injuries and what you can do to prevent them.
What’s Wrong With Their Posture?
The young generations have a problem with their posture because of their constant use of technology. This is because they are always sitting in front of a screen, which puts them in poor posture for most of the day. As a result, they are more likely to experience neck and back pain, as well as other health problems. Poor posture can lead to a number of health problems, including neck and back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and headaches. It can also lead to more serious problems, such as slipped discs, pinched nerves, and chronic pain. In addition, poor posture can make it difficult to breathe properly and can reduce blood flow to the brain. This can lead to a number of health problems, including fatigue, anxiety, and depression.
How Nerve Issues Affect Baseball Pitchers
There has been a recent uptick in nerve issues for baseball pitchers, and much of that can be attributed to poor posture. There are a number of different nerve problems that can arise from poor posture. One of the most common is carpal tunnel syndrome. This is a condition that occurs when the nerves in the arm are compressed, which can lead to pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand and fingers. Another common nerve problem is thoracic outlet syndrome. This is a condition that occurs when the nerves in the arm are constantly irritated and under pressure, which can lead to severe pain and numbness throughout the upper and lower arm. Both of these conditions, along with numerous other minor conditions, are becoming increasingly common in baseball pitchers.
Because baseball is such a one-sided, rotational sport, poor posture can accentuate what is already a challenging movement pattern. High level baseball players have a very unique injury set that predominantly only occurs in the specific population. Poor posture can enhance these issues along with those outlined above. Poor posture can also great effect power production, as an athlete that is limited by nerve pain will not be able to access their full capabilities because the brain is protecting the body from the pain the nerves are producing. This also leads to a situation where the brain will shut down the area experiencing pain with the nerves, with the consequence of that being the body will move down the kinetic chain and overuse other muscles, ligaments, and tendons that maybe should not be used for that movement pattern. This is where serious injuries might occur and how a relatively minor nerve issue can lead to a major injury. All of this can stem from poor posture.
How To Fix Poor Posture
There are a number of ways that athletes can fix their posture. The first step is to be aware of posture when you are sitting or standing. Make sure that you are standing up straight with your shoulders back and your head up. When you are sitting down, make sure that your back is pressed against the chair and that your feet are flat on the ground. You may also want to invest in a good ergonomic chair or keyboard if you have posture problems when you are working. In addition, you can practice some exercises that will help improve your posture. These exercises include stretches for the neck and back, as well as Pilates and yoga poses. There are many specific exercises and treatment modalities we can employ at Kinetic Performance Institute to fit each pitcher’s individual needs if they are experiencing a nerve issue.
Poor posture can also be alleviated by a structured and holistic training program that is tailored to each athlete. Athletes with poor posture not only need to focus on improving it throughout the day, it needs to be addressed in their training programming. Proper training can improve mobility in the neck, back, and shoulder region to decrease the pressure on the complex nerve channels running through the area. Having a full time trainer that is proficient at soft tissue work is also key to creating a comprehensive treatment plan to treat the issues that poor posture creates.
Nerve issues are on the rise and are greatly contributing to many of the arm issues we treat at KPI. Although this issue has not been extensively studied, the concept of poor posture leading to nerve issues is well researched and there is concrete evidence that poor posture can cause nerve issues. As our society becomes more and more integrated with technology, those who train baseball pitchers need to be aware of the damage that is being done to the younger generation by spending so many hours in poor postural positions staring at technology. Without this understanding, many arm issues will get incorrectly diagnosed and baseball careers will be compromised or even cut short because of these issues. At KPI we have a strong understanding of how posture effects the nerves and we are fully prepared to help athletes improve their posture and realize their full potential.