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Shoulder and Elbow Biomechanics, Pathology, and Rehabilitation in the Overhand Throwing Athlete

Shoulder and elbow overhead throwing injuries commonly occur in both youth and adults. Most of these injuries are due to overuse with flawed throwing biomechanics, poor conditioning, and inadequate rehabilitation. An understanding of shoulder biomechanics, pathomechanics, and rehabilitation can enhance throwing performance and minimize shoulder injuries. Moreover, it is estimated that 10-25% of all pro baseball pitchers have undergone ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction. Also, there is an increasing number of youth pitchers that sustain injuries to the UCL. Therefore it is important to understand current rehabilitation techniques for those with UCL injuries and status-post reconstruction. Because of the high prevalence of injury, it is also vital for baseball organizations, coaches, players, biomechanists, and medical professionals to know whether pitchers returning from UCL injuries have abnormal mechanics associated with increased valgus loading, or abnormal mechanics as compensation from UCL reconstruction. The purpose is course is to provide current scientific evidence on shoulder and elbow biomechanics and pathomechanics, common shoulder and elbow pathologies, and shoulder and elbow rehabilitation in the overhand throwing athlete.

Presenter: Rafael Escamilla, PhD, PT, CSCS, FACSM

Dr Escamilla is currently a Professor of Physical Therapy and Director of the Biomechanics Laboratory at California State University, Sacramento, and Research Coordinator at Results Physical Therapy and Training Center in Sacramento. He previously served as Director of Research at the Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze, FL, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, Director of the Michael W. Krzyzewski Human Performance Laboratory at Duke University, and taught biomechanics and anatomy courses in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Duke University. Dr Escamilla received a Ph.D. Degree in Biomechanics from Auburn University in 1995. He also received a Master of Physical Therapy degree from Elon University in 2002 and has practiced as a physical therapist since 2002. He has been a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (C.S.C.S.) since 1991 and has taught numerous C.S.C.S. classes and workshops, and he is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. His area of expertise is in Sports Medicine and Sports Biomechanics. He has published nearly 150 peer reviewed scientific papers, abstracts, and book chapters in biomechanics, physical therapy, and sports medicine related journals and textbooks. He has given nearly 150 professional presentations at scientific conferences, primarily in the areas of knee biomechanics during exercise, overhead throwing biomechanics, and strength and conditioning. He has worked with numerous high profile professional athletes focusing on training and rehabilitation, athletic performance, and injury prevention. Dr Escamilla has won three national and international powerlifting championships, and was a collegiate athlete in football, baseball, and track.

Duquesne University

John G. Rangos Sr., School of Health Sciences
Room 141
Saturday, December 1, 2018
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Contact Hours:

Physical Therapy

Pennsylvania State Board of Physical Therapy - Approved for 6.5 General Access Contact Hours (CEUs);

Ohio State Board of Physical Therapy - Approved for 6.5 Contact Hours

West Virginia State Board of Physical Therapy - Approved for 6.5 Contact Hours

Athletic Training

Duquesne University Department of Athletic Training (BOC AP#P-793) is an approved provider by the Board of Certification, Inc. to provide continuing education to Athletic Trainers. This program is eligible for a maximum of 6.5 CEUs within Category A. Athletic Trainers should claim only those hours actually spent in the educational program.


7:30 - 8:00

  • Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:00 - 8:45

  • Biomechanics and Pathology of the Overhead Throwing Shoulder

8:45 - 9:30

  • Comparison of Three Resistance Training Programs on Performance (Throwing Velocity) and Shoulder Strength and Power

9:30 - 9:45

  • Break

9:45 - 10:15

  • What are the Best Evidence-Based Exercises for the Shoulder?:

10:15 - 11:00 

  • Shoulder Rehabilitation in the Throwing Athlete

11:00 - 12:00 

  • Biomechanics and Pathology of the Overhead Throwing Elbow

12:00 - 1:00

  • Lunch (on own)

1:00 - 1:45

  • Epidemic, Epidemiology, and Risk Factors of UCL Injuries

1:45 - 2:30

  • Outcomes After UCL Reconstruction

2:30 - 2:45

  • Break

2:45 - 3:30

  • Rehabilitation After UCL Reconstruction

3:30 - 4:00

  • Questions & Answers

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe shoulder biomechanics and pathologies that occur during overhead throwing, including shoulder and scapular muscle recruitment patterns;
  • Determine the effects of different baseball-specific training programs on performance and shoulder injury potential;
  • Develop shoulder exercises that can be used during shoulder rehabilitation in overhead throwing;
  • Examine elbow biomechanics and pathologies that occur during overhead throwing;
  • Compare and contrast elbow valgus loading and pitching biomechanics in professional pitchers with and without UCL reconstruction;
  • Determine how elbow valgus loading is related to pitching kinematics and kinetics
  • Assess risk factors in UCL injury and injury prevention techniques in youth and adults
  • Develop an appropriate UCL rehabilitation program for baseball pitchers


$175 - If you are an Alum of Duquesne; OR serve as a Clinical Instructor/Preceptor or Coordinator of Clinical Education for our Physical Therapy or Athletic Training students

Registration Deadline: November 16, 2018. 

Cancellation Policy: The Departments of Physical Therapy & Athletic Training reserve the right to cancel a scheduled continuing education course. Courses may be cancelled for a variety of reasons including but not limited to inclement weather, campus emergency, speaker cancellation/withdrawal, or low course enrollment. In those instances where Duquesne University must cancel the event, attendees will be granted a full refund of the course tuition. In the event that an attendee should cancel or be unable to attend, full, partial or no refunds will be awarded based upon timing of the cancellation. Attendees canceling two weeks prior to the event will receive a full tuition refund. Any attendee cancelling less than 2 weeks of the event will be charged a 25% processing fee to cover the cost of materials, supplies and/or food being provided for the event. In the event that an attendee fails to attend the course and does not notify the Department in advance, no tuition refund will be granted.

Contact & Registration:

Make checks payable to 'Duquesne University' and mail to:
Department of Physical Therapy
Duquesne University
600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282

Queries: martinr280@duq.edu

 The course is on the 1st floor of the Rangos School of Health Sciences; Park in Forbes Avenue Garage.

Campus Map