A DVS Score & Shoulder ROM: Why the Correlation?

In Range-of-Motion: A Pitcher's Best Friend...or Not, and The Fundamental Truth Series, we spent a substantial amount of time creating awareness surrounding the injurious range-of-motion (ROM) patterns that arise in baseball players. We have talked about what they are, where they come from, and a way to treat and prevent them by using the DVS Arm Care System. But aren’t there other ways to prevent them from occurring? The answer is most definitely yes, but let’s take a step back for a second.

When we initially formed DVS, we looked at health from various angles, and realized there was a huge gap that nobody was talking about, or at least, not quantifying appropriately. Mechanics. Our theory was simple. Pitchers who throw (or threw) with greater efficiency experience less stress, and thus get injured less. On the contrary, pitchers that throw (or threw) less efficiently endure more stress, and therefore get injured more frequently. The trick was finding a way to quantify efficiency, which we did through the creation of a DVS Score. The higher the score, the greater the efficiency. We then went on to formally test the validity behind this theory, and found a DVS Score to be statistically relevant at predicting throwing-related injuries. You can learn more about this research process, and how we statistically validated a DVS Score by clicking here

With that said, we’re always looking for different ways to support our beliefs with numbers and data; objectifiable evidence, that players, parents, coaches, and medical professionals can actually quantify, and use to their advantage. And if you read our content, you know that a players' ROM data gives valuable insight into injury risk. Not only that, but with roughly three decades of research and literature documenting it’s validity, it would be ignorant to not use ROM as a correlational measure to our methods. Therefore, one of the ways we have chosen to further validate a DVS Score, and its ability to quantity stress and efficiency, is by correlating it with proven shoulder ROM patterns. 

If you think about it, it’s a pretty logical correlation based on what we’ve covered in previous articles, particularly the Fundamental Truth (Part 1). ROM within the body largely depends on “joint stability", which is primarily influenced by muscle, and its ability to effectively produce tension. As this is the functional purpose of any muscle, dysfunction within this process will cause the body to limit ROM. However, what we haven’t spent a lot of time on is how this dysfunction occurs. To make things simple, let’s just think about it in regards to stress. When the stress on the outside, exceeds what the body can effectively tolerate on the inside, tissues experience dysfunction, inhibition, and damage. Muscle is no different. Now, toss in the demands and stress associated with throwing a baseball, especially pitching, and it’s easy to see how the muscular system could start to become less functional. This is why these injurious ROM patterns are so common in baseball players. For many individuals, the stress on the outside is simply just too much for what their bodies can effectively handle on the inside. 

But what about those who tolerate stress better? What’s their secret? Well, there are a number of factors actually, with a few of them being genetics, demand (i.e. pitch count, innings), training efficiency, and the validity surrounding their pre-hab and recovery routines. However, the one variable that carries just as much weight in all this, if not more, is mechanics. As we covered earlier, pitchers that throw with greater efficiency are going to experience less stress, and therefore are going to beat themselves up less. Therefore, a higher DVS Score is going to indicate that less stress is being applied on the outside, which is going to increase someone’s tolerability on the inside. The ultimate result of all this: better, less injurious ROM patterns because muscle doesn't get beat-up as much.    

As such, the purpose of this article is to shed light upon the key relationship between a DVS Score and ROM, and further illuminate the role that mechanics have on injury and performance. Going forward, we will continue to validate this correlation through our ongoing DVS Case Study Series, in which we use self-collected data from various organizations, teams, and players from around the country. Through this, not only are we able to continually validate our products and solutions, but we fulfill the company’s primary goal of creating awareness, so individuals from all walks of the baseball community can make more educated and informed decisions regarding the pitching delivery.