Baseball is a common American pastime. Everybody in the country loves to watch and play the game at different levels – be it Major Leagues or the T-ball game.
However, baseball players of different ages do have to face injuries now or then. So, many Major league players even end up being disabled, as reported after a study done from 2002 to 2008. Therefore, players must be aware of the risk of injuries that may occur during the game, as well as carry an Instant Ice Pack with them to relieve sudden pain or cramps.
Here is all you must know about the common baseball injuries, as well as ways to prevent them.
Baseball players are likely to get injured from overuse and stress from constant catching and throwing of the ball. The following are some common injuries that baseball players of different ages are likely to suffer from:
1. Sprains and Strains: The baseball players are most susceptible to strains and sprain to the ankle, shoulder, arm, and elbow from throwing, running and pitching actions. In recent years, many Major League Baseball players went into the disabled list due to oblique muscle strains. In the case of pitchers, this injury happens due to their ability to rotate their bodies quickly and sharply repeatedly.
2. Fractures: Another common type of injury that baseball players are likely to face is a fracture. Fractured or broken hands, wrists, and fingers can occur due to the impact of bases, balls, or other players, as well as by swinging a baseball bat.
3. Concussions: Mostly baseball catchers are at high risk of facing concussions. Moreover, they can face the risk of dehydration, as well as typical bruises, bumps, and twists, as young athletes.
4. Labral Tear: This shoulder injury usually happens when the fibrocartilage ring, surrounding the shoulder socket, gets torn. It is a common injury that makes players feel a “catching” sensation in the shoulder joint as the whole joint gets unstable and the labrum becomes loose.
5. UCL Sprain of the Elbow: Your elbow may get injured at the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) that’s placed within the joint and offers stability to the player’s throwing arm. This particular ligament may get strained because of repetitive use or impact to player’s elbow joint. Most players experience this injury because of repeated use. The UCL strains are most likely to affect the competitive pitchers. The most common signs of this condition are a pain in the inner elbow, joint instability, and loss of control while pitching. This injury can be cured using a treatment known as “Tommy John” surgery.
6. Rotator Cuff Injuries: A group of four muscles that coordinate the movement of the shoulder is called the rotator cuff. Due to repetitive motion during overhead throwing, the tendons of the rotator cuff may get compressed and cause extreme pain. This condition is common in a baseball game. It may even proceed to a severe condition called tendonitis that usually needs a player to rest for around a few weeks to a few months. If one or two muscles within the rotator cuff tear down, the pitcher may feel a sudden pain in the shoulder and it can further radiate down to the arm.
7. Thrower’s Elbow: Also known as “golfer’s elbow,” this particular condition occurs in the medial epicondylitis. Usually, the pain starts within the elbow due to its overuse. Often, this condition occurs in pitchers acutely, when they throw too hard or try to throw with an incorrect technique.
Here are some tips to help baseball players prevent injuries during a baseball game:
1. Do Warm-ups and Cool-downs: The baseball players must do warm-ups before starting the game. Some warm-up exercises are jumping jacks, lunges, calisthenics, and light jogging. All these exercises help prepare your body for any intense action. Therefore, you must do them before the game to avoid muscle injuries. Also, you need to do proper cool-down exercises to bring your breathing and heart rate to normal. A cool-down workout like stretching helps in keeping your muscles flexible and healthy.
2. Eat properly: Players must indulge in a proper diet and keep their bodies well hydrated to meet their body’s demands of competition and practice.
3. Cross-train: Players must indulge in cross-training some other sport to help in reducing the risk of injury during the game. Playing some other sport outside their baseball season helps them in learning important skill sets that advance their game. Meanwhile, it also gives them a chance to rest their upper bodies and arms.
4. Be Aware: Players must be able to know the difference between soreness and pain. Usually, any sign of injuries like pain or soreness must not be neglected. It’s best to consult a physician and take proper treatment like instance ice pack or any other quick treatment to relieve an injury.
Players must follow proper warm-up and cool-down sessions before beginning their game. This way, they become more aware of the ways to prevent unwanted sports injuries. However, if there’s any sign of an injury, it’s best to get it checked on time by a physician.