In an entire lifetime, you’d be lucky if you were able to avoid a stubbed toe, a broken finger, or a rolled ankle. At one point or another, you’re most likely going to feel some sort of pain from an injury even if it’s extremely mild. Athletes on the other hand are almost guaranteed to suffer from a sprain, fracture, tear, etc. at some point in their careers.
Though it’s almost inevitable, there are things that athletes can do to attempt to prevent certain injuries. If athletes, their trainers and coaches educate themselves on the injury that they’re likely to sustain from their specific sport, there are measures each one of them can take to prevent them from happening.
Otherwise, physical therapists like MOTUS can get athletes back up and playing in ample time.
Baseball Injuries: Baseball players are at an exceptionally higher risk of suffering from injuries like rotator cuff tears, UCL elbow tears, knee injuries like ACL and MCL, as well as lower back strains. Each one of these injuries results from specific movements that can be found being performed in the game of baseball.
Rotator cuff tears: This injury can be found most often in baseball pitchers. The rotator cuff is made up of four different muscles around the shoulder area, which serve as a covering for the bone of the upper arm. Those tendons can be worn down overtime with repetitive motions like pitching a baseball. Tearing a rotator cuff can be especially painful when putting pressure on the shoulder. It might feel loose or weak depending on the severity of the tear. More often than not, surgery is needed to repair the rotator cuff tear, which then calls for extensive physical therapy attention for a smooth recovery.
UCL Elbow tears: UCL stands for the ulnar collateral ligament and serves the purpose of stabilizing the elbow. Repetitive motions like pitching, or landing on your arm with force can cause the tear. Symptoms of a UCL tear include pain on the inner elbow as well as stiffness. Athletic trainers will often use a grip strength test to exam the UCL. No matter the severity of the injury, physical therapy is almost always needed to get the athlete back on the field.
Lower back strains: The rotating movements needed to both throw and hit a baseball can put strain on the lower back overtime. Athletes sometimes underplay back injuries because it’s common to feel sore in that area especially if you took a hard dive or threw more balls than usual. However, a condition called spondylolysis, which feels like a muscle strain, is actually a fracture in one of the vertebrae.
If treated quickly with physical therapy along with other healing techniques, the athlete will have no problem recovering. If left untreated, the condition can worsen and develop into what’s called spondylolisthesis. This condition is characterized by a slip of the vertebra, which puts pressure on the nerves. Playing with this condition untreated is nearly impossible due to the pain it causes. When it comes to back injuries, finding a physical therapist like MOTUS is key to a promising recovery.
Knee injuries: Knee injuries are pretty common in all sports because movements like changing directions, jumping, landing and twisting are not exclusive to baseball. However, most knee injuries in the game of baseball occur when running the bases or sliding into a base. The ACL and the MCL are two ligaments that work to stabilize the knee.
The tearing of either one of them might cause a quick onset of pain, swelling, and a feeling of instability. Surgery is often needed to repair these ligaments and the recovery time can be daunting. Positive support from an experienced physical therapist can make all the difference.
Baseball being a non-contact sport seems safer than an activity like football or ice hockey. Under certain criteria that may be true, but no athlete can hide from injury fully. The most important thing is recognizing the importance of recovery once that inevitable sprain, strain, break, or tear happens.