Baseball is one of the favorite sports in the US. The arrival of spring is exciting for both baseball players and fans since a number of baseball tournaments are lined up. Lately baseball injuries are on the rise. Players of all ages and competitive levels are bogged down by injuries. Injuries can take a toll on the players’ health.
Rise in Baseball Injuries:
- Rise in Baseball Injuries:
- Common Baseball Injuries:
- Treatment Options:
- Physical Therapy:
- Conservative Treatment Methods:
- Ways to Reduce the Risk of Baseball Injuries:
Repetitive use of their arm for throwing and catching the ball causes stress in the arm muscles. Over 56% of baseball players aged between 15 and 19 underwent UCL reconstructions while about 74% of players complained throwing-arm pain. Being aware of the proper throwing techniques and ways to prevent injuries help you reduce the risk of injury.
Common Baseball Injuries:
- Muscle strain and strain: Sprain and strain that occur due to overuse of muscles can occur in the arms, legs and back. The muscles could be overstretched or partially/ completely torn. Symptoms include pain, muscle spasms, bruising, swelling, inflammation etc. There won’t be a need for surgery unless ligament is severely torn.
- Rotator cuff tear: Rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles surrounding the shoulder joint. Repeated shoulder movements like overhead throwing can exert a strain on these muscles and could lead to a tear or require surgery if you continue to play with the condition. You would notice shoulder pain, weakness or crackling sensation.
- UCL injury: The ulnar collateral ligament serves as a stabilizer for the elbow and prevents the joint from bending sideways. Repetitive use of elbow leaves this ligament strained causing stiffness preventing you from fully straightening the arm. Your grip strength gets affected when this condition is left untreated.
- Labrum tear: Labrum is a ring of fibrocartilage surrounding the shoulder socket. It is positioned between two bones making it longer to diagnose a labrum tear. A torn labrum is accompanied by shoulder pain and can result in decreased effectiveness and velocity when throwing. Treating it at an early surgery avoids the need for surgery.
- Shoulder instability: When your muscles, tendons and ligaments don’t adequately secure your shoulder joint, shoulder instability occurs. Symptoms include sudden, severe onset of pain and short bursts of pain. You may also notice bruising and swelling. When left untreated for long it could lead to shoulder dislocation.
- Thrower’s elbow: Due to overuse of elbow, incorrect throwing technique or throwing too hard, you may experience pain on the inside of the elbow after throwing or while performing other activities involving elbow. In advanced cases it may lead to limited range of motion of the elbow or numbness in the hand or forearm.
There are both non-surgical and surgical options based on the severity of the injury. The player can get relief from the condition using over-the-counter pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, physical therapy and correcting his/ her throwing technique. If your condition is more advanced, your doctor would run some X-rays and let you know if you require surgery.
Physical therapy isn’t only about treating the pain and injury. A physical therapist would help to speed up the recovery time, restore the range of motion, reactivate weak muscles and prevent baseball pitching injuryfrom occurring. If you are looking for centers offering best physical therapy in Bixby Knolls visit ReVITALize Rehab Club.
They are the leading physical therapy clinic in California offering an innovative blend of sports medicine, orthopedic and holistic physical therapy solution for all sports injuries. Retain your mobility faster with the assistance of their experienced and skilled physical therapists. You can book your appointment online or call them directly.
Conservative Treatment Methods:
You can resort to the following methods in case of mild injuries.
- Use a support or splint to stabilize the impacted area
- Take ample rest and give your body time to heal before taking part in sports again
- Use ice packs on the area of acute pain
- Apply compression using an elastic bandage
- If you experience swelling, keep the area elevated to ease pain
Ways to Reduce the Risk of Baseball Injuries:
Avoid pitching when experiencing arm fatigue:
Arm fatigue makes you more susceptible to injuries. If your arm is sore, take a short break from the game. Individuals who continue to play despite having arm pain are 36 times more likely to suffer from elbow and shoulder injuries.
Stay within the pitch count limits:
There are limits on the number of pitches a baseball player can throw. The limit depends on the player’s age. There is also a mandatory resting period to be followed between pitching appearances.
- Age 7 -8: Maximum of 50 pitches
- Age 9-10: Maximum of 75 pitches
- Age 11 -12: Maximum of 85 pitches
- Age 13 – 16: Maximum of 95 pitches
- Age 17 -18: Maximum of 105 pitches
If your pitch count lies near the maximum range, you require about 4 calendar rest days and in other case you can rest between 1 to 3 calendar days depending on the number of pitches.
Avoid playing for multiple teams with overlapping seasons:
It is common for baseball players to be a part of multiple teams. The problem with this is that the player may not have count of his/ her pitching limit and may exceed it which increases the chance of injuries.
Avoid playing for more than 8 months per year:
Players who pitch more than 8 months a year are 5 times more likely to suffer a shoulder or neck injury. Refrain from pitching at least 4 months a year.
Condition your muscles properly:
Insufficient muscles conditioning can lead to pitching injuries. Practice forearm and shoulder conditioning exercises to build strength, motor control and endurance and keep injuries at bay.
Stick to a limit of 100 innings per year:
Players who throw more than 100 innings per year are 3.5 times more likely to sustain shoulder and elbow injuries.
Injuries are a common occurrence in any sport but there are ways to safeguard you from recurring injuries. You can get help from experienced physical therapists and stay active all year round.