Date of Completion


Embargo Period



neck, cervical, pitching, screening

Major Advisor

Lindsay DiStefano

Associate Advisor

Craig Denegar

Associate Advisor

Charles Thigpen

Associate Advisor

Adam Lepley

Associate Advisor

Cory Edgar

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Shoulder and elbow injuries in baseball players have been on the rise for the past three decades. Knowledge of important risk factors for these throwing-related injuries is incomplete. Purpose:To investigate neck mobility and postural measures as risk factors for shoulder and elbow injury in college baseball pitchers and assess variability in these measures during the season. Methods:Forty-nine college baseball pitchers were enrolled. Posture, neck mobility, and glenohumeral motion were measured at preseason and mid-season. Time-loss and pitch counts were recorded, and pitchers completed the Functional Arm Scale for Throwers Pitcher Module (FAST-PM) at baseline and throughout the season. Pitchers were dichotomized into injured and uninjured groups based on time-loss >7 days and FAST-PM >10. ROC curves, diagnostic values and risk ratios (RR) were calculated. Repeated-measures-MANCOVA and one-way ANOVA were performed to evaluate change and group differences. Results: Dominant Cervical Flexion Rotation Test of 86.9 kg were associated with increased risk of injury on the FAST-PM (RR=4.05, RR=8.90, RR=10.42). Three pitchers withdrew from mid-season testing. There were significant decreases in Cervical Sidebending motion (p=.000; p=.009), Cervical Flexion motion (p=.023), and Cued IKM (p=.001), but there were no group differences in variability. Conclusions: College baseball pitchers with less preseason neck mobility had increased risk of shoulder and elbow injury. Neck mobility decreased during the season, and injured pitchers tended to display less cervical mobility.

Available for download on Tuesday, September 10, 2019