Inside Pitch Magazine, May/June 2020

The Hot Corner: The Perfect Arm

The Way of the Future?

By Adam Revelette

Jason ColleranJason Colleran is a former baseball player who struggled with elbow and shoulder pain most of his life. This led him to come up with a solution to hopefully stop the rising arm injury epidemic. He completed all of the Muscle Activation Techniques Masters level classes as well as the Resistance Training Specialist Masters level classes while opening his sports lab inside Elite Edge Training Center in Atlanta. Having extensive knowledge of the musculoskeletal system and resistance mechanics has given Jason the skill set to work as a biomechanics consultant for orthopedic surgeons, chiropractors, physical therapists, and performance coaches. In an effort to reduce baseball throwing injuries, he has developed The Perfect Arm, an athletic sleeve designed to functionally stabilize and reduce stress on muscles and joints while throwing.

Inside Pitch: What was the process involved with developing The Perfect Arm (TPA)?

Jason Colleran: The past five years have been an extensive process of testing and evaluating different methods of using external devices to offload stress from the muscles and joints. The Motus sensor and motusTHROW app have been crucial in refining the MuscleWeb Technology that went into The Perfect Arm. (motusTHROW is a training platform for baseball players of all ages. The lab-accurate Motus sensor is worn in a compression sleeve on the throwing arm, and sits just below the Ulnar-Collateral-Ligament (UCL). Each throw captures peak valgus torque on the arm, which is accumulated into workload measures to aid training.)

IP: We know that arm injuries have been a rapidly growing problem with no perfect solution. Can utilizing The Perfect Arm eliminate these injuries?

JC: The Perfect Arm is the first and only multi-joint dynamic stabilizer, and is also the only product in sports showing objective data proving that it works. It's basically like having an external rotator cuff and new muscle over the UCL to offload the stress externally while still performing. Not only have injuries been increasing, but the rehab protocols for injuries like Tommy John have remained largely the same since the experts at ASMI developed them in 1989. We are just trying to help move the needle in the right direction when it comes to injury rehabilitation and ideally, prevention.

IP: What are the main data points/science/research behind TPA?

JC: We have ample data proving that The Perfect Arm can consistently reduce elbow stress. The Motus sensor has given us the ability to measure and compare the elbow stress throwby-throw while wearing The Perfect Arm and without. We have taken several videos to show the consistent results. There is also a common carryover effect causing athletes to have an immediate increase in velocity right after taking off the sleeve.

We performed a study where we asked pitchers – after an extended warm up time – to throw at 100% max effort to see how high the stress on their arms would get during each throw for baseline readings, wearing The Perfect Arm, and immediately after wearing The Perfect Arm. We were able to conclude the athletes showed an increased velocity with even less stress than the baseline throws, and that wearing The Perfect Arm allows for improved mechanics, decreases elbow valgus torque and in some cases, can improve velocity.

IP: What are the projected long-term effects TPA can have on players throughout an ideal playing season?

JC: Because a large majority of throwing and overuse is done during practice, warm ups, and bullpens, this gives us the opportunity to drastically reduce the stress from throwing by not having the breakdown of overuse that's causing injuries. It's almost like having an additional muscular system that allows you to focus on skill work, accuracy, or full speed practice and drills without having to sit out because of arm pain. In addition to being a stress reduction sleeve, The Perfect Arm also helps you increase your velocity by reducing the stress when throwing at 100% effort or during long toss. Throwing hard is necessary for increasing velocity, and now we can throw hard without as much stress.

IP: What are the future goals/plans for the product?

JC: We are currently finishing up our youth version, and hope that The Perfect Arm will be an imperative piece of safety equipment just like all of the other devices we wearn while playing baseball. Hopefully we will soon be protecting the arms of softball players, quarterbacks, tennis players, and every other overhead throwing or swinging sport!

Our biggest goal is to grow the company to the point where we can sponsor kids to play baseball. I made it to where I am today because I was sponsored growing up, so I feel a responsibility to give back and help kids have a brighter future through the game of baseball.

Intended uses for The Perfect Arm:

1) Practice/Pregame/Bullpen: The primary purposes of the prototype is to offload elbow stress and offload/assistthe rotator cuff by providing external support, especially in our weakest positions at end range with both acceleration and deceleration. The Motus sensor shows that by wearing the prototype and having athletes throw at maximum effort, we can drastically and consistently reduce elbow stress by 15%, 20%, and even up to 30% while maintaining the same velocity, mechanics, and release point. If we took 1,000 samples over the course of an entire season, we can see the drastic reduction in the total forces that cause medial and lateral epicondylitis,UCL tears, and rotator cuff injuries.

2) Prehab/Rehab: The Perfect Arm is adjustable to increase the desired amount of assistance with acceleration and deceleration. Instead of having an athlete return to throwing after an injury or surgery and start a standard throwing program, we can offload and make strategic progressions to strengthen the throwing arm while also conditioning everything from the ground up, which will help alleviate excess arm stress resulting from fatigue in the trunk or lower body

3) Increase Velocity/Training Tool: There is a neurological adaptation/component similar to the "overspeed training" thought process. By throwing at max effort and still relieving stress from the elbow, we are enabling the body to control faster unassisted velocity without increased torque/stress.

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