A baseball player pulls his arm back in mid-throw.

Return to throwing

Specialized physical therapy for throwers to relieve pain and improve form

Shoulder, elbow and even low back pain are common among softball and baseball players. This is often caused by issues with your throwing form. We’ve created a specialized physical therapy program that helps throwers of all ages safely and confidently return to the field without pain.

We use the latest techniques and technologies – including Simi® motion capture and video analysis – to correct your form and get you back to peak performance. Our dedicated team specializes in injury care and prevention, education and rehabilitation services. Plus, many of us play softball or baseball ourselves, so we understand the passion you have for your sport and the desire you have to get back in the game.

What to expect from the Return to Throwing Program

To provide proper treatment, we need to understand your throwing motion and how that impacts your arms, shoulders and rest of your body. During your first appointment, we’ll talk to you about your symptoms and medical history and perform a physical examination. The physical exam may include a biomechanical video throwing analysis so we can get a detailed look at your throwing form.

We'll use the results of this evaluation to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your throwing issues. Depending on your unique needs, your treatment plan may include a combination of:

  • Manual therapy
  • Home exercise program
  • Therapeutic exercises
  • Proprioceptive exercises to improve body awareness and stabilize your joints
  • Strength exercises
  • Neuromuscular re-education, a technique that helps teach your body how to move more efficiently

Components of the Return to Throwing Program

We use advanced technologies and techniques to improve your throwing form so you can get back on the field safely and confidently. It’s common for us to recommend one or more of these components to throwers in our program:

Biomechanical throwing analysis

Our physical therapists and athletic trainers know how to video and analyze your throwing to help decrease pain, as well as improve performance. We use Simi® motion capture and video analysis software to identify subtle deficits in your throwing mechanics. The video analysis helps our team make adjustments to your throwing form in real time.

Modification of throwing mechanics

When our specialists have a better sense of your throwing ability, we’ll work together to create a treatment plan that includes modifications to your throwing form that will help you move more effectively and with less pain.

Additional tests

Depending on your symptoms or specific needs, we may recommend additional tests. The most common tests include:

  • Functional Movement Screen (FMS) – an assessment where we guide you through seven fundamental movement patterns that enables us to check your strength, stability and mobility. This helps us notice any deficiencies in your movements that need to be corrected.
  • Upper extremity functional test – a test that evaluates how well your arms and core work together. We’ll have you perform a few specific exercises to gather more data on your upper body function.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)