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Softball – Baseball Injuries: EP Wellness Doctor Rx

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Softball and baseball require running, jumping, throwing, and swinging movements. Even for the fittest athletes and weekend warriors, the body and the neuromusculoskeletal system will go through overuse injuries, throwing-related injuries, sliding injuries, falls, collisions, and getting hit by the ball. Chiropractic and physical therapy can assist athletes by integrating strength training, body realignment, and rehabilitation injury recovery.

Softball - Baseball Injuries: EP's Chiropractic Team

Softball and Baseball Injuries

Baseball and softball injuries are generally defined as eitherĀ acute/traumatic or cumulative/overuse injuries. Both types can occur in various body areas, for example, a knee injury caused by a fall or quick repositioning shift.

Acute/Traumatic

  • Injuries occur from traumatic force or impact.

Overuse/Cumulative

  • These occur over time from repeated stress on the muscles, joints, and soft tissues.
  • Often athletes return too soon to play, not giving the injury enough time to heal fully.
  • They begin as small aches and pains that can progress into chronic conditions if not treated.

Shoulder

Shoulder overuse injuries are very common. Constantly performing the throwing movements and high-speed throwing strains the joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

  • In softball, bicep injuries are more common than shoulder injuries.
  • In baseball, the overhead throwing position leads to shoulder problems.

Frozen Shoulder

  • Characterized by a restricted range of motion and pain.
  • Athletes with frequent shoulder injuries have an increased risk.

Shoulder Instability

  • Softball and baseball players are more susceptible to injury from overhead throwing, which stretches the shoulder capsule and ligaments.
  • Shoulder instability can lead to loose joints and dislocation.

Shoulder Separation

  • This is the tearing of the ligaments that connect the shoulder blade to the collarbone.
  • This is often a traumatic injury that occurs during a collision or fall with outstretched hands.

Shoulder Tendinitis, Bursitis, and Impingement Syndrome

  • These are overuse injuries in which the shoulder joint becomes inflamed, restricting movement.

Torn Rotator Cuff

Elbow

Elbow injuries are very common, especially damage to the ulnar collateral ligament, which stabilizes the elbow when pitching and throwing.

  • Pitchers can also develop elbow sprains.
  • Damage or tear to the ulnar collateral ligament
  • Damage often is caused by pitchers throwing too much.

Bursitis

Little League Elbow

  • This is an injury to the growth plate on the inside of the elbow.
  • It can be caused by the wrist flexors pulling on the inside.
  • It is typically attributed to overuse and improper mechanics when throwing.

Tennis Elbow

  • This overuse injury on the outside of the elbow makes it difficult to lift or grasp objects.

Hand and Wrist

Softball and baseball can cause hand and wrist injuries from catching, colliding, falling, and overuse. Damage to a hand or wrist is typically caused by repetitive stress and/or a sudden impact.

Finger Fractures

  • These can be caused by impact on the ball or falls.
  • This can happen during contact with another player or diving for a ball and hitting the ground hard or at an awkward angle.

Sprains

  • A fall or impact from the ball or another player can cause these.

Tendinitis

  • This is an overuse injury, often from pitching and/or throwing.

Back

  • Catchers are especially prone to back injury because of the crouched position and overhead throwing.
  • Softball pitchers also experience back strain from the windmill pitching action.
  • Common conditions include chronic muscle strains, herniated discs, low back issues, sciatica symptoms, and pain.

Knee

Softball and baseball players quickly twist or rotate their knees, making them more susceptible to injuries. Sprains, meniscus tears, ACL tears, and hamstring strains are common.

  • Aggressive twisting and pivoting can cause swelling, stiffness, and pain.
  • Running and sudden changes in direction can result in acute knee injuries and overuse injuries.
  • Knee issues require examination for proper diagnosis.
  • Other common injuries include ankle sprains, stress fractures, and tendonitis in the foot and ankle.

Chiropractic

Chiropractors work with a massage therapy team to treat various musculoskeletal conditions. Chiropractic specializes in spinal adjustments and other treatments, including joint manipulation, myofascial release, MET techniques, trigger point therapy, and electrical stimulation. It encourages expedited recovery for sports-related injuries because instead of focusing on just the injuries, chiropractic assesses the mechanics of the whole body through proper alignment and release of constricted tissues. Adjustments of the spine and extremities allow the body to realign for better overall functionality, reduce pressure, improve blood circulation, and reduce inflammation to promote increased and thorough healing.


Improving Athletic Performance Through Chiropractic


References

Greiner, Justin J et al. ā€œPitching Behaviors in Youth Fast-Pitched Softball: High Pitching Volumes With Unequal Pitch Counts Among Pitchers are Common.ā€ Journal of pediatric orthopedics vol. 42,7 (2022): e747-e752. doi:10.1097/BPO.0000000000002182

Janda, David H. ā€œThe prevention of baseball and softball injuries.ā€ Clinical orthopedics and related research,409 (2003): 20-8. doi:10.1097/01.blo.0000057789.10364.e3

Shanley, Ellen, and Chuck Thigpen. ā€œThrowing injuries in the adolescent athlete.ā€ International Journal of sports physical therapy vol. 8,5 (2013): 630-40.

Shanley, Ellen, et al. ā€œIncidence of injuries in high school softball and baseball players.ā€ Journal of athletic training vol. 46,6 (2011): 648-54. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-46.6.648

Trehan, Samir K, and Andrew J Weiland. ā€œBaseball and softball injuries: elbow, wrist, and hand.ā€ The Journal of hand surgery vol. 40,4 (2015): 826-30. doi:10.1016/j.jhsa.2014.11.024

Wang, Quincy. ā€œBaseball and softball injuries.ā€ Current sports medicine reports vol. 5,3 (2006): 115-9. doi:10.1097/01.csmr.0000306299.95448.cd

Zaremski, Jason L et al. ā€œSport Specialization and Overuse Injuries in Adolescent Throwing Athletes: A Narrative Review.ā€ Journal of athletic training vol. 54,10 (2019): 1030-1039. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-333-18

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The information herein on "Softball - Baseball Injuries: EP Wellness Doctor Rx" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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