SHIPP - Shoulder Injury Prevention Program

Shoulder injuries in throwing athletes may seem inevitable, but many of these injuries are avoidable. We just need a little bit of careful planning and implementation of a few injury prevention strategies. The Shoulder Injury Prevention Program (SHIPP) for throwers is specifically designed to reduce the risk of shoulder injuries by assisting you in the five key areas.

Information on shoulder injuries:

Throwers go through a large range of motion at the shoulder and generate significant force from the muscles that move the shoulder in order to move the arm at a high velocity. To accomplish this force generation through the arm, good coordination, control of biomechanics and strength through the whole body is important.

Therefore, throwing athletes’ shoulders need:

  • significant range of motion
  • strength
  • coordination
  • neuromuscular control (feedback from the nerves to the muscle)

Luckily, for those that put the time into a regular preventative conditioning program that incorporates the principle of specific training, improvements in strength, range of motion, coordination and neuromuscular control can be achieved. For example, most throwers have excessive outward rotation and reduced inwards rotation of the shoulder with the elbow up at shoulder height; however, the total motion is usually equal between throwing and non-throwing shoulders. This simply means that through training, the throwing shoulder has transitioned its total available range of motion to bias the outward rotation “cocking position” of throwing.

With such high demands on the shoulder it may not be a surprise that shoulder injuries are the most common injury in both amateur and professional throwing athletes. Overloading structures of the shoulder without adequate time for recovery and repair can lead to overuse type injuries such as:

  • rotator cuff tears, tendonitis, labral tears, and impingement syndromes.

We can reduce the risk for these types of injuries by controlling variables that have been associated with increased risk such as:

  • intensity, duration, and frequency of play as well as rest between games