Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.
In just a few short weeks, baseball practice will be starting back up again. As players take to the batting cages and pitching mounds, it’s important to have a brief review of some of the common baseball injuries that can occur on the field. A recent infographic (shared below) quickly explains some of the most common injuries experienced by baseball players of all ages and skill levels.
#1 Batter’s Shoulder
Batter’s shoulder occurs when the labrum tears in the back of the shoulder of the arm that grips lower on the bat. (The left arm for right-handed batters, the right arm for lefties.) Batter’s shoulder is caused from a batter stopping his swing.
Prevention Tip: Rotator cuff and scapular muscle strengthening can help reduce risk for this injury.
#2 Elbow Ulnar Collateral Ligament Tears
This injury occurs when the UCL is ruptured. It’s caused by serious stress on the ligament from throwing. As younger pitchers throw faster and harder than ever before, UCL injuries are on the rise. (Did you know that high school pitchers have been clocked at 99 mph? Or that hundreds of teen pitchers can hit the 92-95 mph range? Elbow ligaments can experience the equivalent of a 55 lb. weight hanging from the hand during a pitch!)
Prevention Tip: Pitchers should follow prescribed pitch limits and focus on shoulder stretching and strengthening.
#3 Hamstring Strain
Hamstring strain is characterized by partial tears of the muscles or tendons in the back of the thigh. Learn about the difference between a sprain and a strain in this blog post. Also, you can reference this post from last summer for help gauging your recovery time.
Prevention Tip: Quadriceps and hamstring stretching and strengthening exercises.
#4 Catcher’s Thumb
Catcher’s thumb is hyperextension of the thumb. It’s caused by catching a foul ball incorrectly.
Prevention Tip: Wear appropriate equipment that has extra padding in the glove and on the thumb to reduce likelihood of sustaining this injury.
See a Houston Sports Medicine Doctor for Baseball Injuries
To learn more about how a Houston sports medicine doctor may be able to partner with you in your health and safety, schedule an appointment at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics. Call us at (713) 756-5546. You can also schedule your appointment online.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.