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Thread: Lower back maintenance - A question to you cagey veterans of pitching out there.

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    Certified softball maniac RubberBiscuit's Avatar
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    Default Lower back maintenance - A question to you cagey veterans of pitching out there.

    What is the best maintenance plan for an achy lower back due to a core that is too weak? (we have already ruled out anything with the spine)

    Chiropractor?
    Good physical therapist?
    Just ramp-up the core training as much as possible in parallel with “the season”?
    Other suggestions??

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    Super Moderator Amy in AZ.'s Avatar
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    How are her mechanics? I can't remember if there is video of her on here, or not.
    MTR - A foul ball is a foul ball. Nothing else, just a foul ball.

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    Certified softball maniac Ken B's Avatar
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    Is her back pain a result of pitching, or does pitching aggravate a condition?

    PT exercises, when I remember to do them, make a huge difference even for a day for my condition. Low-impact core strengthing is also a huge relief for me. The trick in my case is making the time and commiting myself to it. This is all based on the guidance of my neurosurgeon, GP and PT.

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    PT first to relieve the pain, then ramp up the core workout. Glutes/hips are just as important for support... glutes especially.

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    As long as her mechanic are in line with the Steadman - Hawkins report to coaches, there should be nothing that causes a sore back.

    There are instructors out there that will tell you a sore back is simply a part of pitching and get used to it. If the mechahanics are safe, there should be NOTHING that causes stress to the lower back.

    Best advice here is to fix what is causing it.

    There are instructors out there that teach mechanics that are not safe. Many times they will tell you a sore back is just part of being a pitcher so get used to it. They will also say what you mentioned, strengthening this or that muscle group and they will blame it on that. Those instructors should be ran out of town on a rail.

    If she is standing tall when she starts her push off and / or is standing tall when the stride foot touches down, she will have a sore lower back and eventually a serious injury to the lumbar spine.

    Her mechanics should be evaluated by a knowledgeable instructor.
    Last edited by halskinner; 03-26-2013 at 04:11 PM.

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    Certified softball maniac Ken B's Avatar
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    Hal,
    I teach "stay tall" at release, but can see how heel plant vs toe plant and a rigid knee could lead to issues. I also teach "no bending" at the waist or back bending in premotion and load. Kelsi Dunne comes to mind as a pitcher who would bend at the waist in premotion then hunched some at release. Kenzie Fowler had a delivery where she forcefully bent forward during load then snapped into a back arched position mid-stride that made me cringe. Ueno bows in premotion and leans forward at the waist in release. These motions seem risky to me, but only an opinion.

    Finch had a motion that seemed tall at load and tall at release. This style of using the legs to generate power and to absorb the plant energy seems to be the least likely to injure the back--again, only my opinion.

    I'm familiar with the Steadman Hawkins Report to the Coaches: Softball Pitching at the 1996 Olympic Games, which specifically addressed the pitching motion relating to shoulder injuries. Is there another report that addresses back injury?
    Last edited by Ken B; 03-26-2013 at 05:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy in AZ. View Post
    How are her mechanics? I can't remember if there is video of her on here, or not.
    She's 17 and never had this before. I think it's just a simple "forgetting" of the core.

    Only video I have is a youtube from behind at CO last summer. Would that help?

    Maddie Boyd - Wisconsin Bandits Pitcher 2014 (Colorado Sparkler All-stars) - YouTube

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    Quote Originally Posted by KenB View Post
    Is her back pain a result of pitching, or does pitching aggravate a condition?

    PT exercises, when I remember to do them, make a huge difference even for a day for my condition. Low-impact core strengthing is also a huge relief for me. The trick in my case is making the time and commiting myself to it. This is all based on the guidance of my neurosurgeon, GP and PT.
    She is big on her offense too so she has been taking a lot of swings again. So is it the combination or the pitching or batting first.....??

    Ya I am thinking of having the PT be part of our life for the next x weeks until this subsides.

    I also thought it might be just the indoor training we are stuck to this spring so far.... (hard floors effect..?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by halskinner View Post
    As long as her mechanic are in line with the Steadman - Hawkins report to coaches, there should be nothing that causes a sore back.

    There are instructors out there that will tell you a sore back is simply a part of pitching and get used to it. If the mechahanics are safe, there should be NOTHING that causes stress to the lower back.

    Best advice here is to fix what is causing it.

    There are instructors out there that teach mechanics that are not safe. Many times they will tell you a sore back is just part of being a pitcher so get used to it. They will also say what you mentioned, strengthening this or that muscle group and they will blame it on that. Those instructors should be ran out of town on a rail.

    If she is standing tall when she starts her push off and / or is standing tall when the stride foot touches down, she will have a sore lower back and eventually a serious injury to the lumbar spine.

    Her mechanics should be evaluated by a knowledgeable instructor.
    The ortho said "pitch with your butt clinched".....

    I get the message on pelvic tilt but is this really the ticket...?

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    Quote Originally Posted by KenB View Post
    Hal,
    I teach "stay tall" at release, but can see how heel plant vs toe plant and a rigid knee could lead to issues. I also teach "no bending" at the waist or back bending in premotion and load. Kelsi Dunne comes to mind as a pitcher who would bend at the waist in premotion then hunched some at release. Kenzie Fowler had a delivery where she forcefully bent forward during load then snapped into a back arched position mid-stride that made me cringe. Ueno bows in premotion and leans forward at the waist in release. These motions seem risky to me, but only an opinion.

    Finch had a motion that seemed tall at load and tall at release. This style of using the legs to generate power and to absorb the plant energyseems to be the least likely to injure the back--again, only my opinion.

    I'm familiar with the Steadman Hawkins Report to the Coaches: Softball Pitching at the 1996 Olympic Games, which specifically addressed the pitching motion relating to shoulder injuries. Is there another report that addresses back injury?
    Funny - this was our freshman-fix. (she used to pitch like Abbott...)

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