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Clin Sports Med. 2004 Oct;23(4):765-801, xii.

Rehabilitation of the thrower's elbow.

Author information

  • 1HealthSouth Corporation, American Sports Medicine Institute, 1201 11th Avenue South, Suite 100, Birmingham, AL 35205, USA. kevin.wilk@healthsouth.com


The elbow joint is frequently injured in the overhead athlete, due to the large amount of forces in throwing. Injuries often occur due to repetitive microtrauma, especially in pitching. Rehabilitation following injury or surgery is vital to fully restore normal elbow function and return the athlete to competition as quickly and safely as possible. Elbow rehabilitation must follow a progressive and sequential order to ensure that healing tissues have not been compromised. Emphasis is on restoring full motion, muscular strength, and neuromuscular control, and gradually applying loads to healing tissue. This article provides an overview of a multiphased rehabilitation program for the thrower's elbow. Rehabilitation for specific nonoperative and postoperative pathologies often observed in the throwing athlete is also discussed.

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