With baseball season upon us, now is a good time for reminders on how to keep your slugger safe and free from injury.
Overuse injuries are responsible for nearly half of all sports injuries suffered by middle and high school aged-kids (CDC). Overuse injuries occur when a specific muscle group or joint is maxed out from repeated motions and becomes irritated, damaged, and can cause severe pain or limited range of motion.
The most common overuse injury we see in young ball players at Texas Orthopedics is Pitcher’s Elbow, also sometimes known as Little League Elbow. Shoulder injuries and tendonitis are also common from continuous hitting, pitching and throwing.
But, the good news is that they can be prevented. Here are five tips to prevent Pitcher’s Elbow as Little League and school baseball seasons get underway:
- Always warm up properly by stretching and easy, gradual throwing.
- Rotate in and out of other positions besides pitcher.
- Strictly follow the Pitch Smart (count) guidelines, such as those established by Little League Baseball, or those set forth by your school or club team.
- Don’t pitch on consecutive days.
- Never pitch through pain, even if it’s mild.
Also, encourage your child to regularly communicate with you and the coach about any pain they may have.
Another important reminder is avoid playing year-round baseball (or any other sport for that matter) to give specific muscle groups a chance to rest and recoup. This is especially important for young players as their muscles and bones are still fragile and developing.
If your ball player is suffering from persistent pain, please contact us for an appointment with one of our elbow doctors or shoulder doctors in Austin. You can schedule an appointment with Texas Orthopedics’ board-certified orthopedic surgeons anytime online.
(Adapted from STOP Sports Injuries)