With summer in full swing, America’s favorite pastime is as well: baseball! If you’ve ever watched a game, you know how fast it can change. One hit, catch, or throw can bring a win or a loss, which is why it’s so exciting! But whether it’s your child’s little league game, your work softball team, or a game at a professional level, throwing sports like baseball take a toll on the body. Just as quickly as the game can change with the right play, it can also change quickly for the player when an injury strikes.
Throwing injuries are becoming common, especially in younger children or beginners as they enter the game for the first time. The most common throwing injury is an overuse of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), which is the main stabilizer of the elbow during a fast pitch. The good news is that this injury is preventable and treatable with the right course of action. Here are a few tips to keep yourself or your child in the game all season long.
Give your arm and shoulder a chance to warm up by throwing gradually and stretching before the game starts. As is the case will all sports and exercise, if muscles are warmer, they are less prone to injury. Before you step up to the mound, make sure you’ve thrown a few practice pitches to warm up your arm and shoulder.
Listen to the Pain
At the first twinge of pain, take a break! Resting immediately may be the most important part of preventing a throwing injury, as throwing injuries become worse with overuse. Begin treating with ice and ibuprofen to treat inflammation until full mobility returns without pain. If you feel that the injury is beyond self-treatment, contact your physician immediately for a better diagnosis.
Watch Your Pitch Count
By paying attention to how many pitches you or your child has thrown, you can make sure that an overuse injury doesn’t develop. Refer to the National Little League’s guidelines for pitch counts according to age.
Focus on Accuracy
Often times throwing injuries develop because the focus is on speed rather than accuracy and proper form. Make sure to learn the basics before trying to break any speed records! Read this link for how to throw a proper pitch.
No matter what the summer season has in store for you, OSC is here to help! If you or a child needs help recovering from a throwing injury, give us a call to schedule an appointment. We’ll cover all the bases and get you back in the game as soon as possible!