Muscle sprains, pulled ligaments, cuts and bruises are the most common overuse injuries in baseball. In studies of Major League Baseball and Little League players, pitchers had more injuries than other positions– mostly shoulder and elbow-related injuries . Other positions’ injuries were mostly ankle, hip and knee-related.
It’s true that not all injuries can be prevented, but just like we mentioned in our articles about cycling and basketball, good training and correct use of equipment can minimize your chances to get hurt. There is not a lot of big research on injury prevention for baseball. However, guidance from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the American Academy of Pediatrics supports the following practices:
- Pre-season doctor exam with sports medicine specialist.
- Warming up and stretching before practices and games.
- Use of protective equipment that fits well.
- Sticking to age appropriate rules for sliding.
- Incorporate rest periods. Don’t play organized sports year round and be careful when playing on teams or sports with overlapping seasons. Rest is important for good health and building skills.
- Follow guidelines for the number of pitches thrown per day and per games.
- Reduce or prevent overuse injuries with proper conditioning.
Think about how you can incorporate baseball training into your sports routine including programs for knees, shoulders, and elbow stabilization. These recommendations are based on our review of current research and expert opinion. You should always speak to you doctor and sports trainer before starting a training program.It’s important to understand the correct training techniques and how to use the suggested equipment.
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Photo credit: Keith Allison