Are Curveballs Harmful?
November 21, 2008
(click here for the 2-page .pdf of this newsletter)

Every young pitcher wants to throw curveballs and the debate rages as to whether they're causing injury.

So what's the answer?

This 2008 study out of the American College of Sports Medicine:

AJSM 20Title 201


cites some scary statistics:

Stats 1

And while high pitch counts can cause arm injuries, the TYPE of pitch causing injuries still isn’t certain:

type 20of 20pitch


Fortunately, this 2006 study helped answer the question:

AJSM 20Title

Where they showed curveballs to put 9% less stress on BOTH the elbow and shoulder compared to throwing a fastball:

table


Leading the researchers to conclude:

not 20a 20more 20dangerous 20pitch

So why the increased risk of pain from throwing curveballs and sliders in youth pitchers?

CONSISTENCY OF MECHANICS!

consistent 20mechanics

So if your pitchers cannot pitch with a consistent motion,
they shouldn't be throwing curveballs.


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Dr. Arnold!