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  • Author: Jessica Washington x
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Gabrielle G. Gilmer, Jessica K. Washington, Jeffrey R. Dugas, James R. Andrews and Gretchen D. Oliver

Context: Studies have found that a 20% reduction in energy generation from the lumbopelvic-hip complex during overhead throws leads to a 34% increase in load on the shoulder. Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of lumbopelvic-hip complex stability, via the single leg squat assessment, on throwing mechanics of softball athletes. Design: Prospective cohort study. Setting: Laboratory setting. Participants: A total of 50 softball athletes (164.0 [104.0] cm, 65.6 [11.3] kg, 16.3 [3.8] y, 8.61 [3.62] y of experience) performed 3 overhead throws and a single leg squat on each leg. Intervention: Four stability groups were derived: (1) stable on both legs (bilateral stability), (2) unstable on the throwing side leg (TS instability) and stable on the nonthrowing side leg, (3) unstable on the nonthrowing side leg (NTS instability) and stable on the throwing side leg, and (4) unstable on both legs (bilateral instability). All throws were analyzed across 4 throwing events: foot contact (FC), maximum external shoulder rotation (MER), ball release (BR), and maximum internal shoulder rotation (MIR). Main Outcome Measures: Mann–Whitney U tests revealed significant differences between the bilateral stability and the TS instability groups in trunk flexion at BR; the bilateral stability and the NTS instability groups in trunk flexion at BR, shoulder horizontal abduction at FC, shoulder rotation at FC, and pelvis flexion at MIR; the TS instability and the bilateral instability groups in trunk rotation at FC; and the NTS instability and the bilateral instability groups in trunk flexion at MER and shoulder rotation at FC. Conclusion: These findings demonstrate the different mechanisms in which energy can be lost through lumbopelvic-hip complex instability as evident in throwing mechanics. The findings from this study suggest that the current methods used for classification could act as a tool for coaches, physicians, and athletic trainers when assessing their athletes’ injury susceptibility.

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Gretchen D. Oliver, Audrey Stone and Jessica Washington

Recently, sports medicine professionals have shown interest in using dynamic movement assessments to help identify biomechanical risk factors for musculoskeletal injury. Thus the purpose of this study was to propose two movements (single leg step down and single leg lateral hop) that could predict injury and determine if these proposed movements elicited muscle activation of the hamstrings and gluteals. Surface electromyography was employed and muscle activations of the hamstrings and gluteus medius muscles were classified as strong during both the single leg step down (SLSD) and single leg lateral hop (SLLH). Both the hamstrings and gluteus medius muscles are associated with musculoskeletal injury. The SLSD and SLLH cause significantly high muscle activation of both these muscle groups and should be considered for use in dynamic movement assessments.

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Gretchen D. Oliver, Jessica K. Washington, Sarah S. Gascon, Hillary A. Plummer, Rafael F. Escamilla and James R. Andrews

Context: Hip abductor musculature contributes to the stability of the pelvis, which is needed for efficient energy transfer from the lower-extremity to the upper-extremity during overhead throwing. Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a bilateral hip abduction fatigue protocol on overhead-throwing kinematics and passive hip range of motion. Design: Prospective cohort study. Setting: Controlled laboratory setting. Participants: A convenience sample of 19 collegiate female softball players (20.6 [1.9] y; 169.3 [9.7] cm; 73.2 [11.2] kg). Main Outcome Measures: Repeated hip abduction to fatigue was performed on an isokinetic dynamometer for 3 consecutive days. Trunk and shoulder kinematics during throwing and hip internal and external rotation range of motion were analyzed prior to fatigue on day 1 (prefatigue) and following fatigue on day 3 (postfatigue). Results: Repeated-measures analysis of variances revealed no statistically significant differences in trunk and shoulder kinematics prefatigue and postfatigue. A statistically significant time × side × direction interaction (F 2,36 = 5.462, P = .02, ηp2=.233) was observed in hip passive range of motion. A decrease in throwing-side hip internal rotation prefatigue to postfatigue (mean difference = −2.284; 95% confidence interval, −4.302 to −0.266; P = .03) was observed. Conclusions: The hip abductor fatigue protocol used in this study did not significantly alter trunk and upper-extremity throwing kinematics. The lack of changes may indicate that fatigue of the hip abductors does not contribute to trunk and shoulder kinematics during throwing or the protocol may not have been sport-specific enough to alter kinematics.