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Preventing Baseball Injuries Before They Happen

Baseball Preventing Injuries, Ivy Rehab Physical Therapy
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Added on March 12, 2015
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For Little Leagues, High Schools, Colleges, and the Professional Leagues baseball season is upon us. Baseball may not be as high intensity and violent as sports such as hockey and football but due to technique, such as the torque from throwing a pitch or swinging a bat, injuries are just as common. It's not always about rehabbing the injury AFTER, sometimes we need to find how to prevent the injury BEFORE it happens.

For Players

  • Physical exam. A pre-season physical exam is a must for all athletes. The purpose is to prevent injuries by know any potential medical problems before they occur, or if having already occurred the steps to recover. The pros do this often to know what steps have to be made when preparing a player during Spring Training. It is equally as essential for children in a rec league.
  • Warm up/stretch. Often overlooked stretching and partaking in a warm-up is an easy way to loosen up the muscles and prevent pulls, strains, and tears. Simple aerobics and stretching routines are enough to make a world of difference.

Technique

Base Running

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons offers the following tips when teaching young athletes how to run the bases:

  • Players under age 10 should not be taught to slide.
  • Proper instruction in sliding technique must be taught and practiced before using any bag, including the breakaway bases. Practice should first be with a sliding bag.
  • The "obstruction" rule must be taught and observed. Getting in the way of the runner or blocking the base without possession of the ball is dangerous to both the runner and fielder.
  • When coming into home plate, it is important that the runner attempt to slide to avoid a collision.
  • To prevent ankle and foot injuries between the runner and fielder at first base, a "double bag" — a separate bag for both the runner and first baseman — should be used.

Pitching/Throwing

Early on in a career it is very important to use a pitch count limit, which increases with age. It is also important to not teach all types of pitches at once and instead to introduce new pitches as time goes on, usually over the course of several years. For the pros it is important to have consistency in a motion. With such a high amount of torque on the arm and shoulder a constant change in the arm angle can result in serious injury.

Prevent Overuse Injuries

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons have come up with these specific tips to prevent overuse injuries in baseball:

  • Limit the number of teams in which your child is playing in one season. Kids who play on more than one team are especially at risk for overuse injuries.
  • Do not allow your child to play one sport year round — taking regular breaks and playing other sports is essential to skill development and injury prevention.
  • Do not allow your child to pitch on consecutive days and avoid pitching on multiple teams with overlapping seasons.

While many of these rules are aimed at youth athletes the same values can be placed in efforts to maintain the health of athletes at all the other levels. It has become a problem where High School and College coaches will put their hitters and pitchers in risky situations due to the fact they only have them for a short amount of time before they move on with their careers. Chances are the athlete will play High School and College ball for a max total of 8 years but they still have their whole life ahead of them afterwards.

For more information on preventing baseball injuries visit Ortho Info.


 

 

 

 

 

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