Top sports injuries in baseball and softball

Although injuries are common in both sports, upper extremity injuries are less common in softball than baseball. Because of the underhand pitching style used in softball, less stress is placed on the shoulder and elbow during pitching. In baseball, common injuries include rotator cuff and labral tears of the shoulder. The rotator cuff protects the shoulder joint, and helps raise and rotate the arms. It is made up of muscles and tendons that keep the ball of the upper arm bone (the humerus) in the shoulder socket, and allows the arms to be raised over the head. The labrum is a piece of cartilage attached to the rim of the shoulder socket that helps the rotator cuff keep the ball of the joint in place. What is not always commonly known by those who have rotator cuff injuries, is that in many cases, surgery is not the only option available. Chiropractic and specialized sports injury treatments can do as much if not more to help the condition.

Softball injuries also occur regularly, and usually involve the shoulder, back, forearm, wrist, and hand. Pitchers use a “windmill” motion that puts unique demands on the back, neck, shoulder, forearm, and wrist. Overuse injuries are common in both sports, with pitchers experiencing shoulder, elbow, forearm, and wrist tendonitis, neck, and back pain. Catchers complain of back and knee problems, as well as shoulder problems from throwing overhand.

Rest from the activity that caused the injury is the most obvious treatment of an overuse injury, but prevention of these common overuse injuries is also possible.

Some ways to avoid injury include:
• Proper warmup before competition
• Rotating positions with other players
• Focus on flexibility
• Do not play with pain!
• Develop age appropriate skills in younger players
• Emphasize control, accuracy, and form
• Communicate with coach when pain or fatigue is present

When an injury occurs, application of ice can keep swelling down, reduce soreness, and help reduce pain, along with an anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen. Though in some cases, ongoing sports injury treatment is necessary. A lot of times, when the pain is caused by over use, laser therapy and chiropractic care can be part of a regular, and long-term plan to alleviate the pain and keep you in top condition. With any injury, a payer should always be evaluated by a sports medicine specialist. With a well-structured plan of care, proper rest, and strict adherence to doctor’s orders, most injuries can heal and a player can get safely back on the playing field in a matter of time.