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Rehabilitation and Prehabilitation for Upper Extremity in Throwing Sports

Emphasis on Lacrosse

Vincent, Heather K. PhD, FACSM; Vincent, Kevin R. MD, PhD, FACSM, CAQSM, FAAPMR

Current Sports Medicine Reports: June 2019 - Volume 18 - Issue 6 - p 229–238
doi: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000606
Training, Prevention, and Rehabilitation/Section Articles

Lacrosse imposes multiple simultaneous physical demands during play including throwing and catching a ball while holding a crosse, running, cutting, and jumping. Often, these skills are completed while experiencing contact from another player leading to both on-and-off platform movements. Other motions include defensive blocking and pushing past defenders. Repetitive motions over sustained durations in practice or competition impart mechanical stresses to the shoulder or elbow joints, supportive muscles, and connective tissue. Preparation for lacrosse participation involves bilateral optimization of strength and durability of stabilizer muscles. Passing and shooting skills are encouraged to be equally effective on both sides; therefore, symmetric strength and flexibility are vital for prehabilitation and rehabilitation efforts. This article will: 1) provide insights on the upper-extremity musculoskeletal demands of lacrosse and related sports with similar throwing motion and 2) describe prehabilitation and rehabilitation methods that improve athlete durability and reduce likelihood of upper-extremity injury.

Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, UF Health Sports Performance Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Address for correspondence: Heather K. Vincent, Ph.D., FACSM, Division of Research, Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, UF Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Institute, PO Box 112727, Gainesville, FL 32611; E-mail:

Copyright © 2019 by the American College of Sports Medicine.