Studies that examine athletes' physiological markers during and after sports competition help clinicians, sports scientists, and human performance coaches better understand what's happening to the body as the result of exertion during competition. Interestingly, the topic of physiological response to exercise has come-up a few times over the past several years in cases of exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis among the cross-fit population. (http://articles.latimes.com/2011/mar/24/news/la-heb-rhabdomyolysis-...)
Here's an interesting study that describes physiological response to pitching a seven inning game of baseball. Within the study population, the affect of pitching was slightly aerobic over the course of the game following the last pitch of each inning with pitcher's heart rates functioning at about 69% of their heart rate max. Here's a couple of questions I'd like to pose following this study.
1. If the work performed by baseball pitchers is slightly aerobic how would performance training be prescribed to match the physiology used during competition and/or to enhance performance?
2. What modalities are beneficial for this population to recover following pitching? Does merely soaking in a cold-tub do the trick or could we invite light functional movement in combination with hydrostatic pressure in water that is simply less than 98.6 degrees to help lower Creatine Kinase (CK) blood levels? Is it the water pressure or temperature of the water that is most important to increasing blood flow? What water temp invites your athletes to move in the water? How deep should the water be? Could we consider employing modalities such as Ai Chi as part of the recovery program?
3. What other markers in addition to looking at CK levels could performance coaches use to monitor recovery in pitchers? Monitor cytokine levels? Develop a pain screen with movement such as overhead internal rotation of the shoulder joint (http://www.jospt.org/doi/pdf/10.2519/jospt.19188.8.131.526)? How about monitoring resting HR and/or blood pressure in addition to urine color following competition?