Dynamical Systems Theory & Motor Variability in Baseball: Implications for Pitching Injuries

Dr. Michael Chivers
BPhE (Hons), DC, FRCCSS(C)
Functional Range Release (FR)® Instructor

Dr. Stephen Osterer
Functional Range Release (FR)® Practitioner

In the last ten years, the baseball world has seen an explosion of new elbow injuries – what has been understandably deemed the “Tommy John Epidemic”. Nearly 25% of MLB pitchers have succumbed to the injury, resulting in millions of dollars lost per year and prompting dozens of biomechanics and research groups to investigate the problem further.

In this lecture, the Baseball Performance Group investigates the rise of these injuries in a novel manner; through the lens of Dynamic Systems Theory. They explore and unravel the central principles of Chaos Theory, Motor Variability and Complex Systems to provide a working explanation as to why elbow injuries aren’t a local issue, but rather a “systems problem”. Taken more broadly, this presentation provides a thorough overview of how Dynamic Systems Theory is a budding paradigm shift from how we have conventionally viewed human movement.