Sleeper stretch

Stretching: The Truth

I'm planning on a series of articles to update our readers on some of the current concepts in pitcher related injuries and diagnoses that most fans have not heard much about.

We've all had our fill of reading about pitchers with rotator cuff and glenoid labrum tears. There are some interesting trends in sportsmedicine that have lead to changes in exercise programs throughout the majors and minors in an attempt to protect pitchers from a cascade of preventable injuries most fans don't know about.

Diagnoses such as:

GIRD: (Glenohumeral Internal Rotation Deficit...not to be confused with the stomach malady also known as GERD which Cubs fans get from watching too many losses). Pitching (both cocking phase and deceleration phase) leading to a tight or thickened posterior shoulder capsular ligament plus a loose anterior capsule and loss of internal rotation of the shoulder. Extra external rotation of the shoulder develops at the expense of internal rotation.

Scapular Dyskinesia: Shoulder blade weakness with altered kinematics.

Internal Impingement: Thought to be related to posterior shoulder contracture from GIRD with subsequent instability of the shoulder as the humeral head (ball of the shoulder joint) which shifts back/posteriorly and upward/superiorly). This is a different entity from subacromial or rotator cuff impingement which is more common and typically occurs from friction outside the shoulder joint.

...and finally connecting the dots, sorting out how the the injured or weakened shoulder (scapula) leads to severe strain on the elbow and tearing of the Ulnar Collateral Ligament (aka the Tommy John injury).

My attention to this topic started last summer, when  I heard a remarkable interview on XM radio with renown Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Craig D. Morgan with hosts Jim Memolo and Rob Dibble. The focus of the interview was Stephen Strasburg's shoulder tightness and the subsequent ulnar collateral ligament elbow injury that lead to "Tommy John" reconstruction of that ligament last summer. Dr. Morgan said that he had predicted elbow problems in Strasburg by watching the way he held his shoulder.

More on how the arm bone is connected to the...after the jump.

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Rizzo in, Zobrist out, Willson in LF, Montero back and Almora batting 9th ... let's score some runs

    Eric S 1 hour 15 min ago view
  • Time for Mr. Oh to get some save chances.

    Newport 1 hour 30 min ago view
  • Rosenthal does it again! Comes in with a 3-1 lead in the 9th -- double, BB, HR...ballgame.

    Very nice win last nice -- could have caved in after the bottom of the first. It would be OK if guys stopped getting hurt, and if SF would lose a few.

    billybucks 4 hours 29 min ago view
  • Awesome. It wasn't long ago that he was kind of the best prospect coming through the system.

    Old and Blue 6 hours 24 min ago view
  • QuietMan 17 hours 36 min ago view
  • Javy's grunge dive into the stands for the popup was awesome - the hitting into the double play not so much

    Eric S 18 hours 5 min ago view
  • Third time I've tried to post this (forgive me if it winds up appearing three times)

    Junior Lake, batting 9th and playing RF for the Blue Jays...

    Transmission 18 hours 17 min ago view
  • *That was a fun HALF inning.

    Brick 19 hours 22 min ago view
  • this game is no longer awesome.

    crunch 19 hours 22 min ago view
  • he did...it was awesome.

    crunch 19 hours 31 min ago view
  • I'm pretty sure that Len called Bryant's home run a Brexit.

    Old and Blue 19 hours 32 min ago view
  • everyone but heyward with a hit and a 3 run lead with coghlan on 3rd through 5 batters. hell yeah.

    okay, this is just silly. 19 pitches in, 1 out, 4 runs in, men on 1st and 2nd...hendricks up to bunt.

    ...and almora contributes the final out. that was a fun inning.

    crunch 19 hours 35 min ago view
  • this game is awesome already.

    also, there's a lot of cubs fans in the park tonight.

    crunch 19 hours 43 min ago view
  • Clearly, Joe Maddon is a Lineup Wizzard.

    Transmission 19 hours 43 min ago view
  • "Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Friday that Anthony Rizzo (back) is feeling better and it's "possible" the first baseman could return to the lineup Saturday."

    crunch 21 hours 6 min ago view
  • Maddon shore isn't afraid to bat a rookie 4th in the order.

    Old and Blue 22 hours 22 min ago view