Flexion Range of Motion

Why it matters, how it’s analyzed
and what the research says

Flexion Range of Motion

Why it matters, how it’s analyzed
and what the research says

Why it matters

Shoulder flexion range of motion is an important factor when looking at injury risk. Baseball players should have the ability to bring the arms all the way overhead and should be symmetrical between the right and left sides.

Limited or asymmetrical shoulder flexion is linked with an increased risk of elbow injury in pitchers.

Analyzing Flexion

Range of Motion (Flexion ROM)

There are two ways that we look
at shoulder flexion ROM:

1. RESULTS

The results for shoulder flexion is a pass/fail test. It is expected that shoulder flexion will be symmetrical between sides. If a range of motion deficit is present for your throwing arm and you can’t touch your thumb to the wall, you may be at greater risk of injury and should work to increase range of motion.

2. TREND

Trend looks at how your range changes when compared to previous tests. If you have previously passed the Flexion test, but now you are failing the test, the app will optimize your arm care to a more recovery based program that focuses on mobility.

2. TREND

Trend looks at how your range changes when compared to previous tests. If you have previously passed the Flexion test, but now you are failing the test, the app will optimize your arm care to a more recovery based program that focuses on mobility.

Summary of Research
  • Pitchers with shoulder flexion deficit greater than 5 degrees had a 2.8 greater risk for elbow injury (Wilk, 2014).
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  • Shoulder flexion deficit greater than 5 degrees was determined to be the most significant categorical risk factor associated with increased elbow injuries (Camp, 2017).

TAKE HOME MESSAGE: Your overhead range of motion needs to be as symmetrical as possible. If you fail our shoulder flexion test, please seek assistance from a quality strength coach or clinician to improve ROM.

Research
Research
Hellem A, Shirley M, Schilaty N, Dahm D. Review of Shoulder Range of Motion in the Throwing Athlete: Distinguishing Normal Adaptations from Pathologic Deficits [published online ahead of print, 2019 Jul 1]. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med.

Wilk KE, Macrina LC, Fleisig GS, et al. Deficits in Glenohumeral Passive Range of Motion Increase Risk of Shoulder Injury in Professional Baseball Pitchers: A Prospective Study. Am J Sports Med. 2015;43(10):2379–2385.

Camp CL, Zajac JM, Pearson DB, et al. Decreased Shoulder External Rotation and Flexion Are Greater Predictors of Injury Than Internal Rotation Deficits: Analysis of 132 Pitcher-Seasons in Professional Baseball. Arthroscopy. 2017;33(9):1629–1636.