ISU Kinesiologist Also MLB 'Shoulder Guy' | WGLT

ISU Kinesiologist Also MLB 'Shoulder Guy'

Mar 30, 2016

ISU Kinesiology Professor Kevin Laudner demonstrates how he assesses the shoulder as part of his research to prevent injuries in athletes.
Credit Lyndsie Schlink / Redbird Scholar

An Illinois State University kinesiology professor is playing a role in helping baseball players stay away from arm injuries. Kevin Laudner, is assistant dean in ISU's College of Applied Science and Technology (CAST). 

Laudner's work with pitchers has drawn the attention of many major league teams, and has earned him the tag "shoulder guy" since his affiliation with the Texas Rangers and his consultation with other MLB teams. 

He spends most of his time working with ISU students, but also serves as director of research for the Texas Metroplex Institute for Sports Medicine and Orthopedics in Arlington, Texas. Part of his job is overseeing the collection and analysis of date from the Center for Sport and Motion Analysis Laboratory.

"Over the past several years, we have really started to do a ton of research and examinations on things like the hip, the lower back and now we're doing a lot with the upper back as well," Laudner said during a Sound Ideas interview. "Really, up to today, not many people have looked at that at all."

Laudner says, as hard as he and others try, it's impossible to prevent pitching-related injuries, especially with the shoulder.

"The elbow is such a inherently a very stable joint. There's stability with the muscle, the capsules and the bones itself."

Laudner says the shoulder is a different story altogether.

"You don't have that luxury. The reason we can reach in so many different angles and put a coat or seat belt on, is because our shoulders are free to move in many different directions. With that flexibility comes a lack of stability."

You can read more about Laudner and his efforts to help baseball players stay healthy in the spring edition of Illinois State University Redbird Scholar magazine.