Keeping Kids Safe From Basebal Injuries
This summer, thousands of kids across the metro will don their baseball uniforms and head out to the ballpark. Due to an alarming increase in the rate of injuries of the elbow and shoulder in adolescent pitchers since the mid 1990's, youth organizations have focused more of their attention on safety.
The primary factor in the rate of injuries was overuse. Repetitive throwing can lead to muscle fatigue and eventually damage to muscle, tendons, and ligaments, and cause joint hypermobility, chronic pain, and early degenerative arthritis.
The American Sports Medicine Institute teamed with USA Baseball, Little League, and Major League Baseball to conduct a scientific study analyzing potential contributing factors for the overuse injuries occurring in pitchers.
Injury risk factors:
Number of Pitches Thrown. The research showed the most significant contributing factor in injuries was the number of pitches thrown. Based on this information, guidelines were developed for pitch counts and required rest days.
Pitching past fatigue. Pitchers who routinely threw past fatigue were 36 times more likely to end up requiring surgery.
Year-round baseball. The research suggests 3 to 4 months rest from throwing each year.
Types of pitches thrown. The study recommended throwing fastballs and change-ups only until reaching skeletal maturity, typically around ages 14 to 16.
Lack of adequate conditioning and hip, trunk, and shoulder strength and flexibility. Muscle imbalances and poor conditioning can result in poor throwing mechanics and lead to overuse injuries.
I came to Elite PT by way of personal recommendation. I was told that Elite PT had the best staff in Kansas City. I had a training injury due to demanding physical activity. Prior to this injury I left my professional career to pursue a new direction in a specialized branch of the US Armed Forces. This injury had derailed my training by months and I was becoming worried that I had left everything behind and was never even going to get the chance to serve. Thanks to Tim Cummings I am now leaving to start my service.
I have been incredibly impressed by the attention to detail, the ability to look beyond the injury to the entire function of my body and the driving philosophies that makes Elite PT a premiere facility in this region. Tim and Biagio have gone above and beyond to make sure I got the best possible therapy and ensured that I would leave their care fully able to function.
It is because of that I am prepared to take on the greatest challenge of my life. Additionally, I know that every single person that comes to Elite and embraces their individually designed program will enjoy the same results I have. Like any serious professional, you can tell when a staff is motivated, intelligent, and adaptive. The professionals at Elite PT are that top one percent. They strive to expand their already impressive breadth of knowledge to stay at the pinnacle of their industry. As someone who relies on his body for a living, I now have a new set of tools to maintain myself, and I have learned that I shouldn't wait until I injure myself to work with a Physical Therapist.
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Follow guidelines for number of pitches thrown and required rest for regular season and tournament play.
What exercises should be part of the conditioning routine?
Talk to a skilled Physical Therapist trained in identifying muscle imbalances and movement dysfunction. At Elite Physical Therapy, all of our therapists are trained and able to provide an individualized program that will help reduce the risk of injury.