Biomechanics of the elbow in sports

Academic Article


  • Biomechanics has shown that the elbow joint is distinctly involved in a variety of sports and activities. In throwing activities, the elbow is sometimes stressed to its biomechanical limits. The elbow functions as a hinge joint, going through rapid extension (about 2400°/s in baseball pitching) or flexion (about 1900°/s in the javelin throw). In addition, the hard and soft tissue of the elbow joint must provide joint stability against excessively high torques and forces. During baseball pitching, the elbow joint is subject to a valgus torque reaching 64 Nm. Proximal forces as high as 1000 N are produced at ball release to prevent elbow distraction in baseball pitching. Most sports activities are like kinetic chains, working from the lower extremity, to the pelvis, to the trunk, to the upper extremity. When these activities are performed with the incorrect biomechanical techniques, the kinetic chain is affected, oftentimes resulting in excessive force and torque at the elbow. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Loftice J; Fleisig GS; Zheng N; Andrews JR
  • Start Page

  • 519
  • End Page

  • 530
  • Volume

  • 23
  • Issue

  • 4