33.14 - Injury Prevention & Rehabilitation for Fastpitch (Windmill) Softball Pitchers

Course Description

This monograph begins with an overview of the participation data, general play guidelines, and overall injury rates pertinent to fastpitch softball. The biomechanics of the softball windmill pitch are described in detail so the clinician can understand the kinematic and kinetic factors that are clinically relevant for assessing and treating the windmill pitcher. Subsequently, we discuss the most common injuries and underlying pathologies of the upper extremity and trunk among softball players. In that section, injuries unique to the windmill pitcher are highlighted. Evaluation techniques, including evidence-based tests and measures, are reviewed for each injury identified in the monograph. We also summarize evidence-based interventions and divide them into 4 phases of rehabilitation. Return to sport considerations for pitchers and position players and long-term arm health considerations for these athletes are then discussed. The monograph concludes with 4 patient case scenarios that allow readers to apply clinical reasoning skills, integrating the examination and rehabilitation concepts for the softball athlete. The first case involves a 16-year-old pitcher and utility player with glenohumeral joint multidirectional instability. The second case covers a sixth rib fracture in a 20-year-old collegiate windmill pitcher. The third case highlights an ulnar nerve transposition procedure in a 15-year-old windmill pitcher. The final case presents a pars interarticularis defect in a 14-year-old pitcher and utility player.

Course Overview

Course Format: Online

Contact Hours: 5 contact hours

State Approval: AOPT courses are accepted in all states plus the District of Columbia, as allowed by the type of course requirements in state regulations. A small number of states require APTA to seek pre-approval of courses. The approval codes for these states can be found here. Always check with your State Licensing Board to confirm contact hours offered.

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Injury Prevention & Rehabilitation for Fastpitch (Windmill) Softball Pitchers

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Online Only
AOPT Member $50
Non-AOPT Member $65

Course Objectives

  1. Discuss the biomechanical concepts of the softball (windmill) pitch to inform the rehabilitation program for the softball pitcher.
  2. Differentially diagnose common shoulder, elbow, or trunk pathologies of the softball pitcher.
  3. Apply evidence-based intervention strategies, following a phased approach, for common shoulder, elbow, and trunk pathologies of the softball pitcher.
  4. Identify athlete readiness for a return to throwing or pitching program.
  5. Implement the appropriate return to throwing or pitching plan based on evidence, clinical expertise, and patient variables.
  6. Interpret the currently available literature regarding arm care programs, pitch and play volume recommendations, and weighted ball training to provide effective education to softball players.

Topics and Authors

  • Injury Prevention & Rehabilitation for Fastpitch (Windmill) Softball Pitchers
    Chelsea Leonard Martin, PT, DPT, SCS; Daniel Kline, PT, DPT, SCS, ATC; Sarah Kate Peterson, PT, DPT, SCS; Kathleen Shaughnessey, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS; Amanda Arnold, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS, SCS