Principles of Rehabilitation in the Overhead Athlete

  • Kevin E. Wilk
  • Christopher A. Arrigo


Repetitive throwing places increased stress and demand on the shoulder of the overhead athlete resulting in unique ROM, postural, strength, and joint laxity characteristics. An effective rehabilitation program for the overhead athlete is dependent on the accurate recognition of the underlying condition and pathology responsible for the symptoms. The program should focus on correcting the cause of the dysfunction and/or pain with focus on re-establishing full ROM, dynamic shoulder stability, and implementing a progressive resistance exercise program to fully restore muscular strength, power and endurance of the shoulder, and scapular musculature. The program should incorporate exercises that link the upper extremity and the lower quarter including sport-specific drills and functional activities to facilitate a return to overhead sport. Additionally, proper throwing mechanics, utilization of pitch counts, appropriate rest, and proper off-season conditioning will help in decreasing the overall reinjury risk in the overhead throwing athlete.


Rehabilitation Shoulder Overhead athlete Throwing Strengthening 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin E. Wilk
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christopher A. Arrigo
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Champion Sports Medicine, A Physiotherapy Associates ClinicBirminghamUSA
  2. 2.American Sports Medicine InstituteBirminghamUSA
  3. 3.Advanced RehabilitationTampaUSA
  4. 4.MedStar Sports MedicineWashingtonUSA

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