The World Series begins this week! Some of the most common injuries in baseball are overuse injuries. The major leaguers are susceptible to these types of injuries, but so are recreational athletes. Practice is important when you are on a team, but sometimes too much practice can cause a setback in the form of an overuse injury.
Shoulders and elbows are prone to injury in baseball. Athletes can damage the UCL or Ulnar Collateral Ligament at the elbow from repetitive throwing and/or pitching. This is the most common elbow injury in baseball athletes. Typically, a throw leads with the elbow to generate the force of the throw. This puts a lot of stress on the elbow; specifically the ligament on the inside of the elbow.
Baseball overuse injuries are often preventable by stretching, gradual increase in force and repetitions while throwing, taking rest days, and practicing good mechanics. Do not underestimate the need for rest. Trying switching to a different baseball related activity like batting, base running, or field work to allow your throwing arm some time to rest.
Pay attention to your body. If you are in pain stop performing the aggravating activity and seek help. It is always better to treat an overuse injury early before it becomes something more serious. Save your fastball for that clean-up batter!
See the attached article for more details on prevention strategies and throwing/pitching suggestions:
Baseball-Related Injury Prevention
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It is October. Time for the Major League Baseball World Series! Many baseball players sustain shoulder injuries, and one of the more common types of shoulder injuries is a rotator cuff injury. You have an equal chance of hurting your shoulder whether you are a seasoned major leaguer or you play with the company softball team once a week.
The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles that surround the ball and socket joint of the shoulder. These muscles are imperative for properly locking the joint in place during activity such as throwing a baseball or taking a swing with the bat at the plate. Both chronic muscle tearing and acute injury can disrupt the function of those muscles and cause the joints of the shoulder to behave improperly.
Rotator cuff injuries may not always need surgery especially if the injury is reported and treated early. The injury may be mild at first, but can worsen over time if left untreated.
It is important to stretch and strengthen your shoulder appropriately for your job or your favorite extracurricular activity. See the attached article for stretching and strengthening ideas. An ounce of prevention is worth a home run in the World Series!
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Click the following link for additional information: RTC Shoulder
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Cold vs Heat…what do I use when I’m hurt??
When you sustain a soft tissue injury like an ankle sprain or a back strain you are faced with the question of applying ice or heat to help relieve pain. Most people are more comfortable with heat as a pain reliever, because cold packs or ice bags are not as comfortable as a heating pad! However, you may be interested in knowing that cold therapy is proven to be more effective than heat at reducing swelling and relieving pain.
Ice or cold packs provide a numbing sensation for the immediate reduction of feeling pain. The cold temperature slows down the metabolic processes in the body. This will reduce swelling as the fluid and blood pooling in the area will be slowed down. Swelling is beneficial for healing, but too much swelling is a bad thing. The fluid that swells the injured area can become thick and more difficult for the body to remove when it overstays its welcome.
Heat, however, is known to open up capillaries in the body and increase blood flow. Any acute ligament sprain or muscle strain will continue to bleed with the application of heat to the area.
Choose cold over heat next time you have a new injury!
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Heat vs Cold Therapy
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Are you active on the weekends? Do you play in a slow-pitch softball league or do you just like to go to the park and play a game of pick-up basketball? Maybe you like to play a game of tennis on Saturday mornings! Whatever your chosen activity is, you need to make sure to stretch out those legs.
Before you start playing your favorite activity, try this out… Go for a light jog for about 1 minute just to get your blood pumping. Then, find a nice spot in the grass or on the court and try this leg stretching routine out. While stretching, pay particular attention to area on your legs that you feel the stretch.
Then, throughout your activity, continue to stretch those muscles out…especially in the area that you know you will be sore in tomorrow morning! These stretches should help you reduce your risk of developing overuse injuries. Also, for all sore muscles, remember to use ice! Now, let’s play ball!
All too often, we see Weekend Warriors and Industrial Athletes being slowed down due to shoulder pain. One of the most common types of shoulder pain is from a condition known as Rotator Cuff Tendonitis. Your “rotator cuff” is a group of muscles that resides deep inside your shoulder. That group of muscles is responsible for most of the motion that is performed with your shoulder.
It is common to wear those muscles down with repetitive types of shoulder movements…especially activities performed over your hear. When those muscles start to get overused, their tendons become inflamed. This is known as “tendonitis”. You want to make sure to strengthen those rotator cuff muscles in order to reduce your risk of developing tendonitis.
A great way to do that is with a strengthening band. You can find these bands in just about any sporting goods store or online by web searching “latex strengthening bands”. If you’re allergic to latex, then search “non latex strengthening bands.” Start with a lighter resistance, such as Red or Yellow. Then work your way up to Green and Blue (medium resistance) before working all the way up to Black and Gray (heavy resistance).
Simply follow the attached shoulder strengthening routine by securing one end of your strengthening back to a door knob and then performing the exercises in order. REMEMBER to follow these tips:
- This routine should be performed once every 2-3 days, in order to prevent over-training
- Make sure you ice your shoulder for 20-30 minutes if it gets sore
- Start with one (1) set of eight (8) repetitions per exercise, then work your way up from there
- Always make sure to stretch out after the strengthening routine is completed
Give this routine 3-4 weeks and let us know how you feel below! We look forward to receiving your feedback!