A recent study out of China (link at bottom of this post) had two groups of nine baseball players and split them up into a category of either a “healthy shoulder” group or an “unhealthy shoulder” group as determined by two subjective surveys the players took. Both groups received the same dry cupping treatment over a course of 4 weeks that is commonly used by acupuncturists to treat myofascial pain, which is similar to Graston Therapy and other myofascial therapies. What they found was quite interesting in that both groups actually improved upon their survey scores meaning that they both had less pain/irritation and felt like their shoulder performance had improved.
How Can We Use These Results?
These results tell us that soft tissue therapy has a performance benefit to not only injured players but “healthy” ones as well. Although the methods used to assess performance were subjective, the fact that
the players felt that their shoulder performance improved during the course of the treatment should be enough of a benefit to be applied when available. In my opinion, all baseball players should be getting some type of regular soft tissue care to prevent injury and improve performance/function.
Why is This Important?
Shoulder injuries are rising in baseball more so than elbow injuries. An increase in knowledge of the benefits and application of strength training has helped decrease elbow injuries in baseball players but shoulders are becoming a problem. This study shows that providers can make a difference by treating healthy players with soft tissue therapy. If players want to play better and play with less pain, this seems like an easy way to do it. Dr. Ryan Hamilton uses two different soft tissue techniques in his office, Graston and Active Release Technique, and treats both injured and healthy high school, college, and professional baseball players at Hamilton Chiropractic.