The Case for the Inverted W, Part 4, The "Witch Hunt&qu

Here is the latest article by Paul Nyman on The Case for the Inverted W. Another great post!

Where are the elbows relative to the civilized version of the inverted W? The word inverted refers to upside down, correct? I want to make sure we are using the same interpretation.

From my perspective, that means elbows up and hands down. Am I incorrect in the definition of inversion?

If the elbows are not up, it would seem that one could not call it inverted.

You state:
And from numerous studies attempting to explain the cause of UCL injury, maximum stress on the elbow occurs just and along with maximum external rotation.

And then you state:
Considering prior’s injury record, is it possible that his shoulder problems were a simply a result of wear and tear?
Assuming that’s true…(admittedly that may be true).

Question:
Just because maximum external rotaton causes the maximum stress on the UCL, does it necessarily follow that taking the arm from the inverted position to the cocked postion causes NO additional stress on the UCL or shoulder?

Could the inverted W be adding some additional stress (ie “Use”) to the UCL that eventually leads it to fail? For example, it often isn’t necessarily the biggest wave that causes a house to fall apart. It’s the constant bombardment by the waves that leads to fatigue/breakage.

If the UCL or Shoulder is taking x% additional strain from the inverted W, and then also has to take 100% of the strain during maximum rotation, couldn’t it be that the inverted w is part of the cause of UCL or shoulder injuries? [Almost like each pitch is actually causing 1.5x of a normal “non inverted w” pitch so that it adds up to cause failure? You don’t tear it as the result of one pitch, but the accumulation of stress.]

http://www.hopkinsortho.org/ucl.html
Most commonly, there is a gradual onset of medial elbow pain due to repetitive stresses on the ligament. For athletes participating in overhead or throwing sports, poor mechanics, inflexibility, or fatigue can eventually lead to muscle strain, which places more stresses on the UCL. These stresses create microscopic tears in the ligament, which can add up to one big tear over time. (Figure 2) This gradual stress causes the ligament to stretch and become too long. Once it gets too long, it no longer holds the bones tightly enough during throwing activities.

Also see:


What causes ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injuries?

The ulnar collateral ligament can become stretched, frayed or torn through the stress of repetitive throwing motions. If the force on the soft tissues is greater than the tensile strength of the structure, then tiny tears of the ligament can develop. Months (and even years) of throwing hard cause a process of microtears, degeneration, and finally, rupture of the ligament. The dominant arm is affected most often. Eventually the weakened tendon my rupture completely causing a pop and immediate pain. The athlete may report the injury occurred during a single throw, but the reality is usually that the ligament simply finally became weakened to the point that it finally ruptured

Why would the inverted W put more stresses on the shoulder and/or UCL when it is a product of scap loading?
As I read it, the shoulder isn’t raising. The scapulars are loading up and in, creating the Inverted “W”, making it a product of the scap loading.

Put your arm in an inverted L position, holding a baseball. Do you feel any strain whatsoever on your elbow or shoulder? Then quickly move it to a cocked postion. Doing it 100s of times a game at game speed, to me, it’s not far-fetched that this would cause strain on the UCL or shoulder that would eventually cause it to fail.

On the flip side, with UCL issues being repaired at a high success rate (with many pitchers throwing harder after surgery), it becomes a trade off anyway.

Would you rather be John Smoltz, Billy Wagner, Steven Strasburg, Kerry Wood, etc. or would you rather be me sitting at a desk with a 100% healthy arm? :slight_smile: I have no doubt that the inverted W can raise velocity several MPH, and that in some cases it may be the difference between making it or not. That trade-off may exist (higher risk/higher reward).

Honestly, personally I would choose the risk if I had a chance to make it as a pitcher, unless the altnerative was very very close (because I don’t think the case is 100% that you will get injured and even if you do, it can be repaired…we’re not talking about life threatening injuries).

However, is there an in-between? I don’t know the answer. And, is the position riskier for younger players who are less well-conditioned causing them never to have a shot? That’s why I’m exploring it.

[quote]You state:
And from numerous studies attempting to explain the cause of UCL injury, maximum stress on the elbow occurs just and along with maximum external rotation.

And then you state:
Considering prior’s injury record, is it possible that his shoulder problems were a simply a result of wear and tear?
Assuming that’s true…(admittedly that may be true).

Question:
Just because maximum external rotaton causes the maximum stress on the UCL, does it necessarily follow that taking the arm from the inverted position to the cocked postion causes NO additional stress on the UCL or shoulder?

Could the inverted W be adding some additional stress (ie “Use”) to the UCL that eventually leads it to fail? For example, it often isn’t necessarily the biggest wave that causes a house to fall apart. It’s the constant bombardment by the waves that leads to fatigue/breakage.

If the UCL or Shoulder is taking x% additional strain from the inverted W, and then also has to take 100% of the strain during maximum rotation, couldn’t it be that the inverted w is part of the cause of UCL or shoulder injuries? [Almost like each pitch is actually causing 1.5x of a normal “non inverted w” pitch so that it adds up to cause failure? You don’t tear it as the result of one pitch, but the accumulation of stress.]

http://www.hopkinsortho.org/ucl.html
Most commonly, there is a gradual onset of medial elbow pain due to repetitive stresses on the ligament. For athletes participating in overhead or throwing sports, poor mechanics, inflexibility, or fatigue can eventually lead to muscle strain, which places more stresses on the UCL. These stresses create microscopic tears in the ligament, which can add up to one big tear over time. (Figure 2) This gradual stress causes the ligament to stretch and become too long. Once it gets too long, it no longer holds the bones tightly enough during throwing activities.

Also see:


What causes ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injuries?

The ulnar collateral ligament can become stretched, frayed or torn through the stress of repetitive throwing motions. If the force on the soft tissues is greater than the tensile strength of the structure, then tiny tears of the ligament can develop. Months (and even years) of throwing hard cause a process of microtears, degeneration, and finally, rupture of the ligament. The dominant arm is affected most often. Eventually the weakened tendon my rupture completely causing a pop and immediate pain. The athlete may report the injury occurred during a single throw, but the reality is usually that the ligament simply finally became weakened to the point that it finally ruptured[/quote]

You’re on a witchhunt, if, if, if, if,… My articles based on hard facts regarding where stresses occur in the pitching delivery. There’s an infinite number ways to throw the baseball because an infinite number ways to use the combinations of muscles in the body.

You are anyone else can create 1 million different scenarios but you’re also ignoring black-and-white statements such as the inverted W is an integral part of the scapula loading. Scapula loading is a combination of retraction and elevation of the scapula which maintains the alignment of the humerus i.e. creates no additional pinching stress on the shoulder.

With respect to incremental summation of tissue damage. It’s all speculation. It’s quite possible that many UCL injuries are caused by a single catastrophic event. I’ve watched a number of times the inning that Strasburg is alleged to have torn his UCL or least the ending where it showed up. There is absolutely no sign of him having a problem in the pitch prior to the one where he grabbed his elbow. I find it very hard to believe/understand that the elbow had frayed to the point where was raised to snap in yet he demonstrated no sign or symptom. Especially in light of the fact that the nationals were watching him under a microscope to begin with.

[quote]Johns Hopkins Sports Medicine Patient Guide to UCL Injuries of the Elbow (Ulnar Collateral Ligament)

How is the UCL injured, and what are the symptoms?

The UCL can be injured in several different ways. Most commonly, there is a gradual onset of medial elbow pain due to repetitive stresses on the ligament. For athletes participating in overhead or throwing sports, poor mechanics, inflexibility, or fatigue can eventually lead to muscle strain, which places more stresses on the UCL. These stresses create microscopic tears in the ligament, which can add up to one big tear over time. (Figure 2) This gradual stress causes the ligament to stretch and become too long. Once it gets too long, it no longer holds the bones tightly enough during throwing activities.

Occasionally, throwing athletes may experience a sharp “pop” or develop sharp pain along the inside of the elbow joint on one particular throw leading to the inability to continue throwing.
Pain on the inside of the elbow may also be felt after a period of heavy throwing or other overhead activity, or the athlete may be unable to throw beyond 50% to 75% on successive attempts. Pain is usually felt during the phase of throwing in which the arm accelerates forward, just prior to releasing the ball. Occasionally the athlete may get irritation of the ulnar nerve (“funny bone” nerve) on the medial side of the elbow. This is due to stress on the nerve once the ligament is stretched and is felt as tingling or numbness in the last two fingers (small and ring fingers) in the hand.

While the instability resulting from a tear of the UCL may inhibit the ability to participate in throwing sports, it is unlikely to impair the activities of daily living, such as carrying a bag of groceries. Interestingly, a tear of the UCL rarely prevents exercising, lifting weights, batting, running, or other non-throwing sports.[/quote]

Also the pitch that caused him to grab his arm was a change up. anyone who’s done a baseball knows that changing the grip on the ball changes how one where forces up placed on the arm/elbow. Is very consistent to me that it’s possible that the mere act of throwing the change up is what could’ve caused catastrophic failure. That’s the sum total of my speculation.

Again you can speculate all you want I just don’t have the energy to deal with it anymore.

Did you guys not read my previous post? I described the exact mechanism of injury. It is not speculation - if the body is structurally sound, you can throw any way you want until you are just tired of throwing the darn thing and you will not injure yourself. Prior’s body (his body, not just his arm) was clearly not “right” before he had serious arm problems, as indicated on the chart that shows his injury history.

When one understands the mechanics of the body (not body movement as in the pitching delivery, but how the body works as a gear and lever system to compensate), it is easy to see this stuff. It is also relatively easy to correct – and that is how I know this is not speculation. I have never had a patient in my office I could not help regarding a shoulder or elbow injury. I just had a 15 year old JV pitcher to see me with elbow pain: he was told he had a stress fracture and that the tendon was pulling the bone away from the growth plate. It was recommended by the ortho to shut it down for the rest of the season and he might need surgery. When he came to me, I corrected the primary shifts in his body (yes, his body - not his arm) and he was completely pain free after 3 visits. He is back to playing and he doesn’t feel a thing - and I never even touched his arm! One of the most important comments made in some earlier posts is that “everything affects everything” – nothing could be more true! I’ve seen this same phenomenon for all kinds of so-called “repetitive stress” or “overuse” injuries. In some cases, the arm itself also needs to be addressed - there can be a twist on it that will not release and all it takes is a manipulation in the proper direction, and problem solved!

Sorry if it all seems too simple - but that’s how it is! So, to me, all of this conversation is kind of pointless; everyone is chasing something that they will not find with the line of thinking in which it is going. However, when it comes to optimal performance with respect to velocity, that’s worth discussing!

This discussion has been about the concept of the inverted W. What if the inverted W is a key component of high velocities in some pitchers? Will it be worth discussing then.

See that’s the knock on this concept. Some believe it to be a “natural” point of some high velo pitchers mechanics, while others believe it is a cue to injury.

I don’t think either side of the discussion will come to agreement on this issue, but it sure makes for good discussion.

Well said Turn

The Washington Nationals are believed to have one of the best young pitching staffs in the major leagues. Should we be surprised that so many of their pitchers have W’s, some more strongly “inverted” than others?

I doubt the Nats consciously make an effort to draft pitchers who look W-ish. My guess is they take the most talented pitchers available, and it so happens that many have the W look….and with bad arm up “timing” no less. :roll:

Strasburg

Storen

Gonzalez

Zimmerman

Stammen

Would an ML team be able to compete if it decided to stop drafting W inverts?

I don’t think you can find any easily identifiable type of arm action that has been injury free at the MLB level. Rarely there have been individuals who made it through a career, but identify an arm action type that has been successful at the MLB level and you will eventually find someone who was injured using it. Mussina and Maddux come to mind as pitchers who made it through yet with distinctly different throwing motions. Mussina from multiple release points in the end. Luck of genes, hard work, how can we know for certain?

Roger Clemens shoulder was repaired by Andrews early in his career, Rivera had elbow surgery and some shoulder work done since. Nolan Ryan had bone chips removed and eventually tore his UCL. As he described it…

Of course I’m not suggesting there is nothing we can do to help prevent injuries and if you’re serious about baseball you work your tail off to minimize the risk. Nonetheless when you’re moving at speeds that are pushing the body to its physical limits injuries are inevitable.

As has been said many times, the best way to avoid arm injuries is not to throw. But if you do decide to make a go of it the rewards can be huge, just ask Justin Verlander.

One of my Son’s pitching coaches tried to remove his “flat w”. Son tried to comply and cost hum several mph on his fastball. Needless to say he went back to his original coach who fixed him, recognizing what the “w” is. That being a product of scap loading. Son’s velo is backcup where it was 85 - 86. Not bad for a 16 year old.

Hired Guns = TG2 ??? Old Vultures never die… they just lose their feathers… :smiley:

Does the hanging of the hand downward (as in the Inverted W action) for a longer period of time than other methods cause the upcoming external rotation to happen more rapidly, thus making the speed of which it hits maximum external rotation (where the stress on the UCL is greatest) higher? If so, would there then an indirect correlation between the Inverted W and UCL stress? You hit maximum external rotation faster?

http://s267.photobucket.com/user/TG2_2008/media/vulturehumanhead.jpg.html][img]http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii299/TG2_2008/vulturehumanhead.jpg[/img

Nothing a little Rogaine can’t fix…

I can’t take this any more!

There is 2 problems with this title. The term inverted “W” implies that the glove arm position has something to do with this negative or positive when it does not.
Witch hunt should be eliminated in that the discovery on this subject was explained over 35 years ago by an actual credentialed expert in this field Dr. Mike Marshall and not some wanna be experts trying their hardest to look as though they are experts to the unsuspecting public. These wanna be experts have been exposed many times in the past and every time they speak on these subjects.

The real truth here, is there is an attempt to change the direction of the discussion about what actually causes MCL (UCL) degradation (micro tears) that leads to grade fraying and full ruptures that are caused by being late with arrival during the drop in pendulum swing phase (late forearm turnover)(transition phase) where the Humerus is still inwardly rotated at glove side foot plant.
It is Kinesiologically known that maximal pitches can not start their forwards acceleration phase until the Humerus reaches full range of motion at MER (maximum external rotation of the shoulder) or outwards rotation of the Humerus. The degradation comes by bouncing it into this position from being late and off to the side with a short ball driveline.

The people who are being disparaged here all understand where this problem happens and should be commended for their attempts to explain it, even if they use the incorrect terms (inverted W) to explain it because any time the forearm is left below the elbow and pronated at foot strike, a late action bounce will occur during the transition phase that causes this mal-mechanic that eats away at the MCL.

The attempts by the author of these articles and the facilitator for him should be ashamed for this poor attempt to discredit those who are trying to bring the information forwards because there are injurious outcomes with youth athletes at stake here, who cares about adults who can make a choice on how to proceed. “Do no harm”!

Of the people who have been named as witch hunters here, I would like to single out Kyle Bodie and Chris O’Leary who have actually given credit to Dr.Marshall for this original discovery and possible fixes to the force application problems at their web sites in public, I would especially commend Kyle who has explained this pretty well and continues to travel in the right direction.

It is no surprise that all the people who have been disparaged here by the author have taken Dr.Marshall’s work on this subject and run with it correctly while the author having made his bed is seen covering his *** from his injurious teachings.

McLoven,

Operative word here “think” without testing and practicing it will always give you false readings and the “Ilk” you speak of have.
Dr.Marshall’s recommended mechanics while being non-injurious to joint structures because it is sinuous is still maximal and will injure unfit musculature and perturb youth bone growth potential.

So now the new tact of denigrating pronation is at hand, what a joke!
Hinging the elbow with voluntary pronation rather than (ballistically hyper extending) crashing it at full range of motion from intuitive supination is real and will Aleve many types of elbow injuries, this is a Kinesiological fact.

What does this “naturally” mean? The use of full or partial range of motion is all natural and within the performance ranges of all normal Human beings. Dr.Marshall is speaking of voluntary pronation from full range of supinated starting forwards acceleration phase.

False, lack of pronation is caused by involuntary intuitive supination by “centripetal imperative” because the throwing arm is built off to the side and the voluntary 7/8’s arm vector and lower with lesser shoulder tilt causes the pectoralis major to become the primary mover instead of using the Latissimus Dorsi as the primary mover and shoulder tilt by attaining “axipetal delivery” over the bodies center of mass and axis of rotation. Pronation must be voluntary. Why speak if you do not understand this?

Jdfromfla,

[quote] “It’s like Marshall…he’s totally right…arm injury goes away if you don’t pitch…
AND if you do his stuff you may not ever have one…” [/quote]

You won’t !! You will gain a better game and proper “sport specific” fitness to proceed.

This is false and you keep saying the same BS over and over does not make it true.
There has been many MLB pitchers who attain many of the tenets he recommends.
If you wish me to name them I will but that is not necessary in that you will still push your crap.

Yet you don’t and at every chance push your past talking points continually, you do not recognize that you do not recognize this, why not start now! Until this is actually brought to court, the perpetrators of these injurious mechanical beliefs and teachings will continue to get away with it.

How is that? No one has ever been sued.

You actually do not and by this denigrate it, you actually asked me to not comment on the Kinesiological fixes to these problems in the past here at LTP.

Injurious force application to non-injurious force application. I thought you understood?
It is very easy to do.

This has little to do with the plagiarizer O’Leary! Dr. Marshall was the one again who predicted Pryor’s demise and in detail. O’Leary just ran with it. I does not seem fair that you can bad mouth O’Leary here while at the same time not allow him to speak, typical and definitely not ethical. You are better than this?

O’Leary does not understand what Dr.Marshall was even saying and still ran with it, even if House did not understand what he was recommending was injurious as it is.

The truth be known, As you noted incorrectly as did Dr.Andrews by not recognizing that Pryor had his best season ever in the MLB after the collision where he missed 3 starts while complaining he felt fine and did not want to miss any starts after the collision. He actually pitched pain free for a year and a half afterwards. Now you can quit using this false talking point everywhere.

Well, let’s hear him dispute the real detractor Dr. Mike Marshall, the leading expert in the world with overhead throwing mechanics who actually has the credentials to make these claims. If Dr.Andrews said what you claim he is being disingenuous because he had seen many loose shoulder capsules previously and the ligaments that produce this pathology.
This is how this entire thing started actually and now you can quit using this poor excuse.
Your better than this!!
Dr. Marshall has been in contact and explained all this in detail to all the top Ortho’s including Dr.Andrew’s, they have no excuse to keep the carnage continuing with their after Dr’s release recommendations.

CoachxJ-

You are talking about the ones you named? And in the same breath do not name the one who has already taken you out to the Kinesiological wood shed publicly and used the mechanical switch on you backside, Dr. Mike Marshall.
It is not a fallacy, it is the truth but how would you understand this, you have your pride to protect and this is what these articles are all about, to bad the owner of that web site has been associated with you now so he can justify teaching injurious traditional mechanics also.

To bad you get this wrong and continue to recommend injurious force application.
Not only does being late cause MCL degradation, the associated scapular loading causes shoulder pathologies like Labrum tearing and loosening of capsular ligaments that has been explained to you a long time ago in detail, yet you keep recommending this to pitchers to their detriment and while I am OK with this for adults if they have the other information to then proceed, I am offended and upset that you are OK with this with youth pitchers and their parents who look at you like you know what you are doing when you do not by your anecdotal approach to this.

Using proper words to describe what should be happening does not mean you have this right in your recommendations for what is optimal.

Only the genetically gifted ( high fast twitch percentage) pitchers have a chance to make it in the professional ranks, the days when pitchers like Randy Jones were allowed to advance are long gone because of people who think like you, this does not mean it is OK that lesser gifted pitchers or gifted ones need to go through the pathologies your recommended mechanics produce.

This has nothing to do with an elevated elbow!! It has to do with being forearm tardy. Until you understand this you will keep recommending injurious force application as if it is better for velocity when it is not. You do not recognize that in the past and some in the present have attained the highest velocity with out producing this late forearm bounce!!!

Really? It wouldn’t be the Kinesiologist’s, motor skill and exercise physiologists who understand this best? What a fraud you are displaying here.

I see no logic or weighing the evidence (facts) here, only backside covering from your past recorded statements but then I see this for what it actually is and have tested all these claims for over 40 years and Dr.Marshall’s now the last 15 years and guess what, Dr.Marshall has it right, you may want to look into it without regards to wanting to advance to some affiliated organization that is not going to happen if you have not noticed? Be honest and do no harm.

Lon Fullmer
Saddleback Valley baseball

What the heck? Lon not yelling at me and calling me a bunch of names?

I thought for sure it couldn’t be you when I read that.

Hope you’re well, in any case.

It’s not Dirt, it’s Yard…

I think Dr. Marshall knows how to rehabilitate an arm

Sure…but it doesn’t change the fact that the arguement/discussion…whole thing came about due to the false premise that Mark Prior’s mechanics were the reason he became injured.

So he looked into his magic ball and saw the collision and liner off the elbow??? Please Yard…throwing rhetoric at the issue doesn’t offer much.
Paul printed his injury past…no way a reasonable person see’s him as injured by mechs.

[quote]Injurious force application to non-injurious force application. I thought you understood?
It is very easy to do. [/quote]

Sure I understand…what you don’t “seem” to understand is that no Marshall pitcher has attained mid to upper 90’s or 100’s so you have zero basis to say that his tenants won’t be injurious there…you want to act as if guys who traditionally get there are wrong…well none of you fellas are there…tenants…you claim Maddux “used” Marshall tenants…as if he went to Zephyer Hills and asked the Doc how to pitch.

[quote] You actually do not and by this denigrate it, you actually asked me to not comment on the Kinesiological fixes to these problems in the past here at LTP[/quote].

No, I told you we wouldn’t allow you to diagnose and prescribe remedy to injured players…how come you keep lying about this…I think you can add to the discussion…never ever told you under this aspect or Dirt that you were “kicked off” (Actually if I/we wanted to make you go away we wouldn’t argue…you’d disappear)…just won’t allow you to perform medicine without license on our site…do it on Baseball Debate if they let you…just not here.
But come on and bring your A game and convince the world how wrong and dumb they are not to follow the pied-piper.

Not that I’m aware of…is litigation the only by-product? Lets see…Media personality X asks say…Ron Wolforth or Dick Mills…“aren’t YOU concerned about arm health”??? or how about the popular…“you mean you AREN’T concerned about arm health in youths???”…why you are a positively wretched coach today if you don’t say many lovely and flowery things about arm safety.

[quote]Yet you don’t and at every chance push your past talking points continually, you do not recognize that you do not recognize this, why not start now! Until this is actually brought to court, the perpetrators of these injurious mechanical beliefs and teachings will continue to get away with it[/quote].

Wow…and what are my talking points again??? Oh yah…Mark Prior was never, ever injured before he ran into Giles in the base paths…damn me for pushing an agenda to be honest about reality…that only a very small fraction of humans get to do this art at the pinnacle…

How over the edge…like coaches are perpetrators and should be punished…stuff like that is just way off the plane amigo…why not imprison them…we can put them in front of the wall…I don’t know if liberals stole demonizing from you or you stole it from them…this furthers no discussion

[quote]This is false and you keep saying the same BS over and over does not make it true.
There has been many MLB pitchers who attain many of the tenets he recommends.[/quote]

Oh bfd…there are several who are white men like him also…they wear cleats too…the aggravating thing is that I don’t disagree :wink: sure there are…and when THEY get injured, you blame that they didn’t use ALL of the tenants…or some such drivel instead of recognizing that injury is much more than “just” conventional mechanics.