Ball velocity and elbow loading in fastball pitching

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Among baseball players, the pitchers are the most prone to injuries.
These injuries occur mainly at the medial part of the elbow and at the
shoulder. It is widely accepted that high joint loading are linked to
overuse injury for repetitive motion. At maximal exo-rotation (MER), the
elbow maximal abduction moment is predominantly counteracted by the
ulnar collateral ligament and causes great stress on this structure. The
aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between the elbow
maximal abduction moment, ball velocity and technique. Thirteen elite
pitchers participated in this study. Elbow maximal abduction moment was
computed by an inverse dynamics method. Results indicate that the mean
maximal abduction moment of the forearm on the upper arm was 41+-9Nm and
can be reduced without hampering ball velocity by lowering the elbow
flexion angle at MER.