Preventing thoracic outlet syndrome in high school baseball and softball athletes: a model for occupational therapy clinical practice
Emery, Dana C.
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Sports participation is an important part of the high school experience for many adolescents. Psychosocial factors and the culture of team athletics can play a role in an athlete's motivation to continue to play or to fail to report signs ofinjury (Van Wilgen & Verhagen, 2012; Ward, 2004). Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (NTOS) is one consequence of this tendency. In recent years, NTOS in professional athletes has been highlighted in the media (Langosch, 2013). Since 2001, five pitchers from one major league team were diagnosed with NTOS. High school sport practices often fall short in preventing overuse injures such as NTOS, due to the concentration on skill building while neglecting to strengthen antagonist muscles. For high school level baseball and softball players this leads to imbalance in the muscles needed to produce a high velocity throw (Zaremski & Krabak, 2012), which can ultimately result in overuse injuries such as NTOS. This doctoral project will address the need for a preventative and educational program for high school varsity baseball and softball players who are at risk for thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) due to structural imbalance and overuse. The project will include the creation of educational material with exercise and strengthening guidelines to prevent NTOS in at risk high school varsity baseball and softball athletes while addressing the motivational factors that contribute to the problem. The target population of this program will be high school varsity baseball and softball athletes and their coaches.
Thesis (O.T.D.)--Boston University