If baseball is considered to be a non-contact sport, then how do over 275,000 players visit the emergency room every year for baseball related injuries? Although player to player contact is not part of the game, players can get hurt in numerous ways. Some of the most common injuries in baseball are throwing-arm strains, hip/upper-leg strains, and head/face injuries from being struck by a baseball. Luckily, there are ways to treat and prevent such injuries and drastically reduce the chances of being injured in baseball. Here’s how:
Since 2000, there has been a fivefold increase in the number of serious shoulder and elbow injuries among youth baseball and softball players. These joints go through an incredible amount of abuse from the stress and torque placed upon them while making a throw. If you are experiencing pain in your elbow or shoulder, stop throwing immediately. Do not play through the pain, because it will more than likely get worse. If pain persists, you may have an overuse condition, like tendonitis and should visit a doctor. You may have to go through a physical therapy program, receive an MRI, or have the infamous Tommy John surgery as a last resort.
There are many ways to prevent strains in the elbow and shoulder. If you follow these tips below, you will dramatically reduce your risk of hurting your arm.
- First, and most obvious but ignored the most, are softball and baseball arm stretches. Thoroughly stretch and warm up your arm before games.
- Do not let your coaches overthrow you in a tournament. Give your arm enough days rest between games and follow recommended pitch limits for your age.
- If you are a baseball pitcher, try to refrain from throwing anything besides a fastball and a change-up until you are in high school.
- Wear a jacket on your throwing arm in between innings to keep your arm warm.
- After you pitch, take anti-inflammatory medication such as: Advil, Motrin, or any other ibuprofen brand
- Ice your arm after every game you pitch (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, repeat 2 or 3 times)
Baseball is a game played with a lot of standing around and quick, explosive movements in any direction. Whether you are running down a fly ball or stealing second base, your body must always be ready for a sudden movement. Take the time to stretch properly before games. Keep the blood flowing in between innings by jogging to your position and lightly stretching again. Not only will it help prevent pulled hamstrings and hip-flexors, but it will also help you perform at your maximum potential.
Being hit in the head/face by a baseball can cause serious harm to your body. Teeth can be knocked out, bones can be broken, concussions can happen, and even death can occur. The technology that goes into helmets has rapidly changed over the years, so spend the few extra dollars on a High-Quality Helmet that can protect your head better. Wearing a Mouth Guard while you bat or play infield can also be the difference between keeping your teeth and having dentures for the rest of your life. For other ways to protect your body while at bat, click Here.
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