Baseball is the greatest American pastime. Baseball players of all ages, who play for recreational and professional levels, face overuse injuries very frequently. Even in baseball players, while batters suffer injuries as well, pitchers suffer from the most injuries. Read on to find out what these are, and how to take care of them.
- Muscle strains
Pitchers need to repeatedly turn sharply and rotate quickly in the game. All the turning and twisting lead to intense muscle strains. Major League Baseball has seen more than twenty players going into the list of disabled players because of these injuries. The pitcher’s job is more strenuous than the batters’ so they need to be better prepared. Doing repeated exercises which makes the body more supple and strong.
- Labral Tear
This is a shoulder injury. It happens when the cartilage around the shoulder tears. Pitchers complain of pain in their shoulder and the arm becomes unstable. The labrum becomes loose and the pitcher loses complete control of his arm. Use ice to reduce the pain and consult a professional medic.
- Rotator cuff injuries
A group of four muscles coordinate shoulder movement. These muscles are called the rotator cuff muscles. The continuous overhead throwing compresses the tendons of these muscles and causes pain. If not taken care of adequately, these injuries can cause more severe tendonitis and the player can go on a rest period anywhere between a few weeks to months. In severe cases, the pain radiates down the arm.
- Shoulder instability
This is also called ‘dead arm.’ This condition is caused when the player overuses his arm and the muscles become fatigued because of it. The player loses control over his arm and it becomes unstable. This condition is treatable with simple rest and does not have a long term impact. When the instability becomes more serious, the shoulder can dislocate or partially dislocate. This condition is called subluxation.
- UCL sprain of the elbow
UCL is the Ulnar Collateral Ligament of the elbow and is situated inside the joint. It provides stability to the dominant arm. This ligament gets strained because of constant use or direct physical impact to the elbow. For most pitchers, the UCL gets strained because of overuse. The symptoms of UCL strain are pain in the inner elbow, loss of control of pitches and overall joint instability. Sometimes there are accidents that aren’t in anyone’s hand. This article illustrates such an accident. Put a compression on the injured area and hold it in place using an elastic band. If there is swelling, elevate the injured area and put a cushion under it. This will help the swelling to reduce and in turn, reduce the pain.
- Thrower’s elbow
It first starts with pain on the inside of the elbow and if not treated, it can get severe. It happens to pitchers who throw too hard or have an incorrect technique. Also known as the Golfer’s Elbow, its scientific name is medial epicondylitis. It can better by resting the arm.
Playing sports comes with its own set of responsibilities. Take care of yourself by knowing the risks and how to mitigate them.