Baseball is a physically demanding sport that can put a lot of repetitive stress on the body. As a result, it is not uncommon for baseball players to experience overuse injuries as well as traumatic injuries. Some of the most common overuse orthopedic injuries in baseball include:
Shoulder: The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint. When these tissues are repetitively stressed, it can cause pain and discomfort in the shoulder. Rotator cuff impingement is most common in pitchers. Typically, there is associated stiffness at the shoulder/shoulder blade region or weakness in hips, core, and shoulder blade when shoulder impingement is present. The labrum is another common injury in the overhead athlete. The labrum is a cartilaginous circle/tear drop shaped structure that adds depth and stability to the ball and socket shoulder joint. Tearing or irritation at the junction of the labrum and bicep tendon in the shoulder is a common pain generator in overhead athletes.
Elbow injuries: The elbow is another joint that is commonly injured in baseball. A common elbow injury is strain or tearing of the ulnar collateral ligament on the inside of the elbow. This is typically the result of repetitive throwing, especially in younger baseball pitchers and those throwing with poor mechanics. Occasionally a baseball player will experience a “pop” at the inside of the elbow while throwing and may indicate an ulnar collateral ligament rupture. Many baseball advocates have pitch count recommendations for each age group.
Leg injuries: Leg injuries typically are knee and ankle sprains occurring during base running and sliding. These are similar injuries you would expect in soccer and football but less frequent. A baseball catcher is more prone to develop tendonitis in the knees from repetitive squatting.
If you are a baseball player who is experiencing pain or discomfort, it is important to see a doctor to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. There are several things that can be done to treat orthopedic injuries in baseball, including:
Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help identify weaknesses, inflexibility, and faulty mechanics that result in repetitive stresses. Once dysfunctions are identified a specific treatment plan can be developed for the athlete.
Surgery: Surgery may be necessary in some cases to repair a serious injury.
Sudden onset injuries can be treated with:
Rest: Rest is the most important part of any treatment plan for an orthopedic injury. Resting the injured area will help to reduce inflammation and pain, especially in sudden onset injuries.
Ice: Ice can be used to reduce swelling and pain. Ice can be applied directly to the injured area or wrapped in an ice pack.
Compression: Compression can help to reduce swelling and pain. Compression can be applied with an elastic bandage or a compression sleeve.
Elevation: Elevation can help to reduce swelling and pain. Elevation can be achieved by resting the injured area on a pillow or a raised surface.
How do I get treatment for a baseball injury?
ORTHOKnox has clinics in Knoxville, TN, and Athens, TN, and offers sports medicine, including on-site physical therapy. With its board-certified surgeon and Orthopedic Urgent Care that is available without an appointment, ORTHOKnox has got you covered. For more information about how ORTHOKnox can treat your baseball injury, call (865) 251-3030, or fill out our easy-to-use online appointment request form. We look forward to hearing from you!