Core Impact on Overhead Athletic Performance

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Many research articles come out on a daily basis that we as clinicians try to keep up with so our patients receive evidence based care. Last week I read the August 2019 edition of The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy  (IJSPT) and I would like to discuss and summarize one of the articles that caught my attention: “The Impact of Lumbopelvic Control on Overhead Performance and Shoulder Injury in overhead athletes: a Systematic review” by Cope et al. 

The purpose of the article was to evaluate all the current studies available that looked into the effect of lumbopelvic control on overhead performance and shoulder injury. After narrowing down the electronic search from 3,312 articles to 15 meeting the inclusion criteria, the researchers had a pool of 977 total participants including baseball, softball, swimming, handball, lacrosse, tennis, water polo, basketball, football and field throwing athletes.  The authors of the article suggested that improved lumbopelvic control was related to decreased shoulder injury and improved athletic performance. During the article selection, they included both static and dynamic measures for lumbopelvic control, validated questionnaires to evaluate shoulder function as well as performance measures, such as throwing distance, serving speed.

Lumbopelvic region provides proximal stability which is essential for distal extremity control. Evidence, including the latest article from IJSPT, suggests that recurrent decreased core stability paired with repetitive stress overtime may predispose overhead athletes to altered shoulder biomechanics and injury. At Center for Healing and Regenerative Medicine, we use the Redcord NEURAC method to identify the weak links of your body which always includes lumbopelvic control to make sure we address the root cause of the problem instead of chasing the symptoms. As a physical therapist, I always raise a question in my head – what movement pattern caused the dysfunction in the first place if the injury wasn’t related to acute trauma?

Let us do the thinking and help guide your body to optimal function and performance.

Lina Padegimaite, PT, DPT

**Click photo to link to IJSPT article 

 

 

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