Addressing Baseball Injuries
Spring has finally sprung and that means baseball season is here!
When people think of baseball they typically think of it being safe since it’s a relatively non-contact sport, but injuries are still very prevalent. The mechanics used in this sport are different than other sports, especially for pitchers. The nature of the game requires very repetitive motions, which may results in overuse injuries.
About one half of all pitchers aged 9-14 have experienced elbow or shoulder pain at some point during a season. Repetitive elbow and shoulder stress injuries result in approximately one-third of Little League pitchers never getting the chance to play in high school. As physical therapists, we want to prevent these injuries from happening in the first place, or at least avoid current injuries from becoming chronic so that everyone can continue to play indefinitely.
When you visit Transform Rehabilitation for your shoulder or elbow pain, there are a few things you can expect during your treatment sessions.
The first thing we start off with is education. There are many things we can be doing to prevent shoulder and elbow injuries. Pitch frequency, the type of pitches thrown, and the individual’s specific throwing mechanics all contribute to the risk of injury. A study found that young pitchers are five times more likely to sustain throwing injuries that require surgery if they pitch more than eight months in a year; four times more likely if they pitch more than 80 balls per game; and 36 times more likely if they regularly pitch with arm fatigue. We want you to avoid those high risk behaviors from the start.
Regain Muscular Performance
Next, we want to regain muscle performance. We’ll find specifically where you’re limited in range of motion and improve it with specialized stretching, and also, improve weakness by strengthening specific muscles in the arm and shoulder. From a whole body stand point, some very common dysfunctions we see in people who suffer throwing injuries are poor balance and lack of muscular stability around the hip, core, shoulder blade and the lead leg of pitching. Poor balance and instability lead to biomechanical flaws in the pitching motion which stresses tissues excessively, leading to injuries.
Finally we want to prevent re-injury. Physical therapy helps relieve symptoms, promote healing and prepare the athlete for re-entry into the sport. Participation should resume only when their symptoms improve and their muscular performance is normal. Returning to play baseball too soon can increase the chances of re-injury. A physical therapist will know when you should be Returning to play with what level of athletic performance is appropriate. They can also identify athletes who are most prone for re-injury and monitor them for risk factors some of which were mentioned above.
FREE: Bulletproof Shoulder Program For Throwers
Fill in the section below for a free program designed to exercise the major muscles necessary for throwing. In addition, all exercises included are specific to the thrower and are designed to improve strength, power and endurance of the shoulder complex musculature.