Baseball: Know The Most Common Injury Risks
Baseball is a favorite summer pastime in Minnesota. Our sports team reviews the common baseball injuries we treat to help you understand what you can do to play more safely.
At Summit Orthopedics, we encourage sports participation as a smart way to maintain an active lifestyle. The health benefits of competitive exercise far outweigh the risk of sports-related injuries—but we still prefer preventing injuries to treating them. Understanding baseball risks is the first step in prevention.
Whether you are a professional athlete, a member of a neighborhood team, or cheer on your children at Little League games, injury is a concern. In 2010, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission reported more than 400,000 baseball-related injuries serious enough to require medical care. More than half of those injuries were suffered by children.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reports that soft-tissue injuries resulting from contact with a ball, bat, or another player are common in baseball. These injuries include:
- Muscle pulls, or strains
- Ligament injuries, or sprains
- Contusions or bruises
In addition to these acute injuries that happen on the field, the sports medicine team at Summit Orthopedics wants you to be aware of another type of baseball injury that develops over time: overuse injuries caused by repetitive pitching, swinging, and throwing actions.
“Overuse injuries affecting the shoulder and elbow are the most common baseball-related injuries we see,” explains Summit sports medicine physician Dr. James Gannon. “These injuries cause shoulder or elbow pain—typically related to excessive throwing. Overuse damage can be the result of too many pitches or throwing forcibly without a proper warm-up.”
Because overuse injuries develop slowly over time, they are very preventable.
- Don’t jump into too much play too soon. Exercise regularly, and train to build your overall fitness and core strength.
- Avoid playing a single sport year-round. Engaging in repetitive actions without a break—like throwing or pitching in baseball—significantly increases the risk of overuse injury.
- Don’t skip warm-up exercises. Taking the time to warm up your muscles prepares them for exertion and makes them less vulnerable to injury.
- Listen to your body. It’s not unusual to experience some soreness or discomfort after physical exertion, but if you experience ongoing pain or weakness, don’t try to continue playing through the pain. Take a break from the activities that trigger pain, and give sore muscles time to recover and heal. If pain does persist when you pitch or throw, it’s time for an evaluation by one of our sports medicine physicians.
At Summit, our sports team is here to help if something goes wrong during your game—but we’d rather help you to anticipate and prevent injuries so you can enjoy your summer baseball games in active good health.
Sports medicine: Expert bone, joint, and muscle care
From Olympians to pro athletes to youth sports and those that just want to be more active – Summit Orthopedics delivers expert care by fellowship-trained sports medicine physicians. If you are recently injured or concerned about ongoing pain, Summit Orthopedics sports medicine specialists have the expertise to evaluate your discomfort and develop a plan to quickly and safely help you get back to being active.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as several additional community clinics.
Regenerative PRP and BMAC therapies offer promising options for pain relief and improved function.
Dr. Stulc addresses the safety of orthopedic regenerative therapies.
Meet the Expert: Doctor Bio Video Series