The coming of spring means something different to everyone. For Jim Parrish, founding attorney of Parrish Law Firm, PLLC, spring means the opportunity to get outside and coach his son’s Pee Wee baseball team in the Gainesville Haymarket Baseball League (GHBL).
The GHBL not only offers Jim’s son the opportunity to grow to love our nation’s favorite pastime, but also allows Jim to spend quality time with his family; something all of us could use more of.
For complete information on the GHBL and how you and your kids can get involved, click here. Don’t miss out!
In that spirit, Parrish Law Firm, PLLC is here to give you some information on common baseball injuries and what you can do to make sure your kid has a blast and stays healthy enough to hit that game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the ninth. Play ball!
Common Baseball Injuries
While many different injuries can occur when playing any sport, the two injuries most common to baseball are:
- Elbow injuries
- Shoulder injuries
Each year, thousands of kids around the country complain about elbow and shoulder pain. Often times, the pain can be attributed to a torn or strained ligament in the elbow called the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), which works to stabilize the elbow for the movements of pitching. When an athlete suffers a UCL injury, recovery and rehabilitation can be long and hard.
Identifying a Shoulder or Elbow Injury
Often times, young athletes think that they are invincible and may not openly acknowledge an injury until serious damage is done. Look for the following signs to help diagnose an elbow or shoulder injury.
- The athlete feels elbow or shoulder pain the day after throwing.
- Movement of the athlete’s joint is painful or restricted compared to the joint in the other arm.
If you recognize either of these symptoms, seek out a physician who has knowledge of or experience with sports injuries.
Preventing Overuse Baseball Injuries
Many of the injuries explored above are preventable by simply taking care of your body. Here are some tips to help avoid overuse injuries.
- Your warm-up should include running, stretching and easy throwing. Nothing too hard, too quickly.
- Rotate positions so that you aren’t throwing as the pitcher all the time.
- Focus on age-appropriate pitching.
- Don’t pitch on different teams that have overlapping seasons.
- Don’t pitch if you experience shoulder or elbow pain. If the pain continues, see a doctor.
- Avoid pitching two days in a row.
- Don’t play baseball year-round.
- Communicate openly about any pain you may have in your arm and how it’s feeling.
- Never use a radar gun.
- Work on age-appropriate skills.
- Focus on technique, accuracy and control.
- Learn the fastball first and then the change-up.
Treating an Overuse Shoulder or Elbow Injury
- Rest. It’s the most obvious and the most effective treatment for an overuse injury.
- Ice reduces swelling and soreness.
- Ibuprofen helps to ease the pain and reduce swelling.
- See a doctor if the symptoms don’t clear up or if there is any restriction of joint motion.
- Rehabilitation helps the athlete to regain muscle mass, flexibility, tone, and endurance after the injury has healed, the pain is gone, and the athlete has regained full motion.
- Surgery may be required in extreme cases if the injury affects growing bone. Always wait for clearance from a medical professional before returning to the field.
With this information in your glove, you’re ready to play ball!