Understanding Baseball Injuries
One of the most popular sports in American is baseball. It’s a game that has been played by children and adults of all ages, for generations. The rules of the game haven’t changed over time, but the way today’s youth prepare and train to play has evolved in recent years.
Baseball has become a year round activity. In many areas, there are both spring and fall leagues. Players at a higher skill level may also tryout and be selected for “travel teams” that play games and tournaments during the summer. There are baseball camps and training facilities to practice, almost year-round.
All of this practicing, playing and training can put an extraordinary amount of wear and tear on bodies that are still developing. An area of particular concern are shoulders and elbows.
Here Are Some Baseball Injuries to Watch Out for:
Most youth baseball leagues limit the number of innings that can be pitched in any given week. This is done to protect young arms. An increasing number of pitchers, from high school to the professional level, are undergoing Tommy John surgery. This is a procedure that replaces tendons in the elbow from other parts of the body. The surgery occurs almost exclusively in pitchers. The recovery time can take more than a year if a player is able to return to the game at all.
Elbow injuries are the most common baseball ailment, but there are other problems that can arise as well. The tendons and muscles in the shoulder are also susceptible to problems. Rotator cuff injuries can hamper players at any position. The motion of throwing a baseball, especially with velocity, can put immediate wear and tear on the shoulder.
Knees, ankles and wrists can also take a pounding on the baseball diamond. Sliding, diving after balls and sudden starts and stops are all actions that have the potential to injure joints and tendons. Many of these injuries start small before getting worse, if proper treatment isn’t sought.
It’s important to listen and observe young baseball players. Parents and coaches should watch for signs of pain or discomfort. It’s beneficial to catch an injury earlier rather than later. The rehabilitation process for a baseball related injury at The Addison Sports Clinic, if discovered early enough, can help surgery to be avoided altogether.
Here Are Some Tips to Help Lower the Risk of Injury:
- Warm up properly. Stretching out ligaments and joints, even at a young age, is an important factor in avoiding injuries.
- Engage in other sports. A number of current and former major league baseball players, including John Smoltz, have gone on record as saying young ball players should avoid playing year round. Smoltz missed the entire 2000 season after having Tommy John surgery.
- Teenage players should understand how important it is to listen to their bodies. A sore body part is a clear warning sign that something is wrong. Coaches may want their “star” player to play in the big game, but it’s not worth the long-term risk if there is elbow or shoulder discomfort.
- Adhere to the rules when it comes to innings pitched. Limits on innings and consecutive days on the mound are there for a reason.
The Addison Sports Clinic specializes in sports injuries. We can give top-notch muscular therapy, and show you injury prevention methods that promote your full rehabilitation. Our 20,000 square foot facility is state-of-the-art. Our weight room, hyperbaric chambers and cold laser therapy will get your athlete back on the field.
If there is a young pitcher in your family with a sore elbow, shoulder or joints, or you have questions concerning any sports injury, make an appointment today. The road to recovery is only a phone call away.