How Can Our Upper West Side Physical Therapist Help You Prevent Baseball Injuries?
With baseball season right around the corner, the last thing you want to do is start your season off with an injury. Baseball season is long and it may be tough to stay healthy for the duration of the entire season. If you’re looking to stay injury-free this upcoming baseball season, you may benefit from visiting an Upper West Side physical therapist at Miccass Physical Therapy.
Each year, the biggest complaint with baseball players is shoulder and elbow pain. The most common injury amongst baseball players is damage or tear to the UCL. Although baseball isn’t considered a contact sport, most injuries come from collisions with a ball, bat, or another player. Aside from collisions, many injuries are a result of soft tissue damage, muscle strain, or ligament damage. Overuse can also result in injuries down the line.
Before you even pick up a baseball, the first thing you should always do is stretch. A proper warmup is essential to preventing injuries. Specific warmup routines can be provided by our Upper West Side physical therapist. Here are some helpful tips for warming up properly:
- Get to the field an hour before the game so you have adequate time to warm up.
- Start with a light jog and some calisthenics.
- Stretch your legs and arms to avoid injuries due to tight muscles.
- Drink at least 24 fluid ounces of water before the start of a game. Muscle cramps often occur as a result of dehydration.
Using the proper equipment can also help prevent injuries. If you are wearing shoes that are too big or equipment that is too big, you are more susceptible to injuries.
- Always wear a batting helmet at the plate, on the bases, and in the on-deck circle. This will protect your head from being hit with a bat or ball.
- Wear cleats with proper traction. If you are on a dirt field you will get better traction with molded or metal spikes. Wearing metal spikes on turf can lead to knee or leg injuries, so it is best to wear molded cleats or turf shoes on a turf field.
- Catchers should always wear gear. This gear includes a helmet, chest protector, catchers glove, and shin guards.
- Gender-specific protection should be used as well.
It is no secret that the repetitive nature of throwing puts stress on the shoulder and elbow. One thing that can help is to use proper technique when you throw. However, overuse is something that may not always be at the fault of the player. Commonly, coaches neglect to keep track of how much a player throws. All coaches should keep a pitch count. Here is the recommended pitch count for each age group:
- 7-8 years old: 50 pitches
- 9-10 years old: 75 pitches
- 11-12 years old: 85 pitches
- 13-16 years old: 95 pitches
- 17-18 years old: 105 pitches
If a pitcher exceeds 75 pitches, they should receive a minimum of three days rest. Overuse can cause damage to the rotator cuff, elbow, and shoulder. Each player should also receive a pre-season physical exam to make sure they are injury-free. Players should also receive a post-season physical exam to make sure there are no injuries present.
Contact Our Upper West Side Physical Therapist
If an injury is sustained during the season, it is important to address it right away. At Miccass Physical Therapy, our Upper West Side physical therapist will be able to help you along every step of the way of the rehabilitation process. Be sure to contact us today to get started!