Rehabilitation of the thrower's elbow

Tech Hand Up Extrem Surg. 2003 Dec;7(4):197-216. doi: 10.1097/00130911-200312000-00011.


The elbow joint is susceptible to injuries in the overhead athlete due to the large amount of forces observed during the act of throwing. Injuries often occur due to repetitive microtrauma nature of throwing. Rehabilitation following injury or surgery to the throwing elbow is vital to fully restore normal function and return the athlete to competition as quickly and safely as possible. Rehabilitation of the elbow, whether post-injury or postsurgical, must follow a progressive and sequential order to ensure that healing tissues are not overstressed. Emphasis is placed on restoring full motion, muscular strength, and neuromuscular control. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of a multiphased rehabilitation program for the thrower's elbow. In addition, rehabilitation for specific nonoperative and postoperative pathologies often observed in the throwing athlete is discussed.