Youth Baseball Caregiver Understanding of Safe Pitching Guidelines and Player Injury

Christian Reintgen, Giorgio Zeppieri Jr, Michelle Bruner, MaryBeth Horodyski, Andrew Waligora, M Seth Smith, Kevin W Farmer
2021 International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy  
As more athletes participate in youth baseball, there has been an associated increase in upper extremity injuries. Knowledge of baseball injury prevention guidelines continues to be developed and defined as throwing-related injuries rise. The purpose of this study was to evaluate how knowledgeable youth baseball caregivers were about safe pitching guidelines and secondarily determine pitching practices which may be associated with increased risk of player injury. A twenty-two question survey
more » ... prised of demographic data, knowledge of overhead throwing guidelines, pitching history, presence of risk factors associated with overhead throwing and pitching habits was distributed to the caregivers of youth baseball pitchers in North Central Florida. Eighty-three percent (81/98) of those polled were unaware of the existence of safe pitching guidelines, regardless of the pitcher's playing experience (p > 0.05). Those who pitched more than six months out of the year were significantly more prone to experience throwing arm pain after a performance (p < 0.05). Fifty-two percent (51/98) of the caregivers recalled their child having throwing arm pain as a direct result of pitching, with twenty-six percent (25/98) of pitchers having to miss either a game or a pitching appearance. Twenty-seven percent (26/98) of all players went on to seek medical evaluation for arm discomfort due to pitching. Pitchers 13 years of age and older were more likely to throw curveballs and miss games because of throwing arm pain (p < 0.05). Despite implementation and accessibility of safe pitching guidelines, a large portion of those surveyed were unaware or noncompliant with these established recommendations. Given the results of this study, further measures need to be taken to improve caregivers' understanding of current guidelines to help increase compliance and protect youth pitchers. Cross-sectional survey study, 3b.
doi:10.26603/001c.22532 pmid:34123532 pmcid:PMC8169035 fatcat:vouwnsih3rfdpmikknqhf7p4t4