Female collegiate windmill pitchers : references to injury incidence

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Hill, Jennifer L.
Humphries, Brendan
Issue Date
Thesis (M.S.)
School of Physical Education
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There is little research specifically examining fast-pitch softball pitchers. However of the few studies completed, pitchers have been reported to exhibit a high incidence of injury. How and why these pitchers are suffering from injuries has not been elucidated.The purpose of this study was to investigate the injuries occurring to collegiate softball pitchers and factors that may influence these injuries such as demographic, pitching, training, and injury information.A cross-sectional survey of collegiate softball pitchers from Divisions I, II, and III was conducted using InQsit, a web-based survey system. Instructions on how to complete a web-based survey was sent and completed over a two-week period, by 181 Division I, II, and III collegiate softball pitchers. The survey was composed of questions addressing: 1) demographic information, 2) pitching and game data, 3) training program information, and 4) injury reporting.The results showed that demographic information, pitching and game data, and training were not statistically significant (p<0.05) in relation to injury. Among the 131 reported injuries, 36 were acute, 92 chronic, and 3 unspecified. Of the 92 chronic/overuse injuries, 10 were Grade I, 30 Grade II, 39 Grade III, and 13 Grade IV. Of the total injuries, 80 were a direct result from pitching, with 36 relating to the shoulder and 17 to the lower back. Among the injured pitchers, 109 took Non-Steroidal AntiInflammatory Drugs, 140 used modalities, 11 received surgeries, and 95 saw additional specialists. This study revealed that a high percentage (72.8%) of collegiate pitchers are suffering injuries across the nation and more research focused on this area is needed. In addition, coaches need to continue to be informed of ways they can improve the health and training programs of their pitchers.