Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.
With Opening Day just a week behind us, baseball season is in full swing. As players take to the field, it’s important to take a moment to review some brief facts about baseball injuries. An infographic by Bizball, LLC, helps us quickly evaluate some of the most common baseball injuries (according to 2015 Major League Baseball statistics).
Most Common Baseball Injuries
The most common baseball injuries occur in the…
- Elbow (21.7%)
- Shoulder (17.1%)
- Knee (7.58%)
- Back (7.07%)
- Hamstring (6.57%)
- Forearm (3.54%)
- Oblique (3.54%)
- Groin (3.03%)
- Wrist (2.5%)
- Achilles (2%)
- Ankle (1.52%)
- Hip (1.52%)
(These figures reflect players whose injuries landed them on the 15-day, 60-day and season ending disabled list.)
How Can We Protect Against Baseball Injuries?
As I wrote earlier this year, parents, coaches and players (of all levels) can reduce the risk of injury by…
- Following recommended guidelines. Many leagues and organizations, for example, publish pitch count recommendations for various age groups. Following these organizations can reduce fatigue and wear-and-tear – two factors that may increase the likelihood of injury.
- Warming up and stretching. Stretching and warming up muscles is important for all sports, and baseball is no exception.
- Strengthening exercises. Strengthening the quadriceps, for example, may help reduce the risk of a knee injury. Strengthening the muscles of the scapula may help reduce risk of rotator cuff damage.
- Use the appropriate safety equipment. Ensure that players are using the proper safety equipment (and that equipment fits correctly!) to reduce the risk of injury.
Let’s Talk About Elbow Injuries…
If you look at the injuries mentioned above, you’ll notice that one, in particular, dominates the list: elbow injuries. One type of elbow injury that’s on the rise among teenaged baseball players is ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) damage. In some cases, this injury, which is caused by repetitive motion, requires surgical repair. Surgery may then be followed by 11 to 20 months of recovery. Following the recommendations outlined above (strengthening shoulder muscles, warming up, and limiting pitch count) can help reduce risk for developing this type of baseball elbow injury.
Schedule With a Houston Sports Medicine Doctor
Baseball injury in Houston? Schedule an appointment at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (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.