Shoulder Injuries in the Overhead Athlete

Young athletes, from throwers to swimmers, rely on the repetitive overhead arcing motion of the arm to perform in their sport. This motion is actually a complex maneuver that requires stability, proper timing, strength and coordination to avoid injury. These athletes are particularly vulnerable to injuries to the growth plates in the shoulder and elbow.

The cause can be due to a variety of factors including poor biomechanics, a weak core and rotator cuff muscles and tightness in the upper and lower extremities. All of these are factors that can be modified and/or corrected to reduce the stress on the shoulder and improve performance. This lecture will focus on the common shoulder injuries seen in young athletes and provide sound strategies for treatment and overall injury prevention.

Eric Leighton is a Lead Athletic Trainer at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Sports Medicine. He graduated from Capital University with a Bachelor’s degree in athletic training and is licensed by the state of Ohio, as well as nationally certified. Eric worked in a specialized post-surgical rehabilitation center for hand/arm injuries and now conducts biomechanical throwing analysis for overhead athletes.