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After a long and brutal winter, spring has finally sprung in the Carolinas. For many of us, that means one thing – BASEBALL! Despite all of the fun we have and life lessons we learn on the diamond, we cannot ignore the fact that youth sports injuries are on the rise. For baseball players, that means plenty of sore shoulders and elbows, and even the occasional trip to the doctor’s office.
There are many potential causes for these injuries – poor throwing mechanics, overuse, flexibility or strength deficits- just to name a few. Once these injuries occur, they can be very difficult to treat, especially in-season where athletes are less willing to take prolonged rest, so prevention is really the key.
STOP Sports Injuries (www.stopsportsinjuries.com) is an organization dedicated to the prevention of these injuries, targeting the overuse aspect. They provide recommendations for various sports and resources for parents, coaches and athletes. Here a few key highlights for baseball players.
It will take cooperation between parents, coaches, athletes, and healthcare professionals if we are going to make a meaningful decrease in the injury rates. Playing other sports during the year leads to improved overall athleticism and prevents burn out and muscle imbalances. If you are a baseball player, think about the long term health of your arm, and most importantly- have fun!
Chris Gabriel, OCS (Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist), CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist), practices physical therapy with the OrthoCarolina Wellness Center. Chris and his team treat a range of patients for orthopedic and sports medicine needs. He enjoys working with various local high school, college, and professional sports teams.