Baseball is a popular and growing sport in Australia. It not only represents a pathway to Olympic representation or a professional contract, but
combines a number of skills such as hitting, throwing, sprinting and catching. However, like all sports participants, baseball players have
a risk of injury.
The upper limb is by far the most common site of breakdown. One recent study found that nearly two-thirds of baseball injuries were in the shoulder or elbow, due to the extreme speeds of throwing in the sport.
The risk of an elbow or shoulder injury was 2.6 times higher for a pitcher than a position player, confirming that repeatedly throwing a ball is
a very challenging task for a shoulder! This high breakdown rate is not surprising when throwing is analysed biomechanically.
One recent study revealed some startling data: the shoulder rotates at approximately 12000 degrees per second during a fast baseball pitch! Furthermore,
the speed of the hand was measured at nearly 1000 metres/second!
With such enormous forces, it is easy to see why baseball upper limb injuries are so common.
So how do you prevent shoulder throwing injuries?
The secret is to maintain the balance around the joint.What exactly do we mean by ‘joint balance”?
Joint balance has two main components:
(1) The passive structures.These are the bits that hold your bones togethersuch as ligaments and joint capsule, and
(2) The active components – the muscles that move the joint.
f the passive structures become either too tight or too lax then your throwing movement will become unbalanced. Your joints will either grind too
tightly on internal structures when the throwing action forces it into certain positions, or will move around too far during the vital acceleration
phase, causing microscopic tears.
In either case, the grinding or tearing slowly accumulate until they become major injuries.
The same type of imbalance can occur with your muscles: if they become weak, they will be unable to stabilise your joint during the massive acceleration
involved in throwing a ball. Similarly, if some muscles are overactive, they will pull your joint out of its normal alignment, causing accumulated
So how can physio help in treating throwing injuries?
First,we assess the balance of your shoulder, including all the passive structures and active components. We then direct your treatment toward
correcting any anomalies. For example, you may have some tightness in your joint capsule that requires mobilisation, massage and stretching
to loosen it,and some exercises for your rotator cuff muscles to strengthen them and increase their stability. You may need some throwing practice
drills to make sure that you use your new shoulder in the most efficient way.
Throwing a fast baseball is an extreme‘occupational hazard’for your shoulder, but with the right biomechanics you can perform it without undue
risk of injury.Who knows, maybe an Olympic Gold Medal or a MLB contract might be yours one day ... or maybe not. But in the meantime at least
you’ll have a lot of fun.
Common Baseball Injuries
AC Joint Injury
Achilles Tendon Rupture
Achilles Tendonitis / Tendinitis
Anterior Ankle Impingement
Avascular Necrosis of the Femoral Head
Back Muscle Pain
Calf Muscle Tear
Degenerative Disc Disease
DOMS - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
Facet Joint Pain
Fat Pad Syndrome
Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)
Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome
High Ankle Sprain
Hip Arthritis (Osteoarthritis)
Hip Labral Tear
Knee Ligament Injuries
Lateral Collateral Ligament
Medial Collateral Ligament Sprain
Neck Arm Pain
Patella Tendonitis (Tendinopathy)
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Pes Anserinus Bursitis & Tendinitis
Pes Planus - Flat Feet
Poor Hip Core
Posterior Ankle Impingement
Posterolateral Corner Injury
Rotator Cuff Calcific Tendinitis
Rotator Cuff Syndrome
Rotator Cuff Tear
Sacroiliac Joint Pain
Side Strain (Abdominal)
Sinding Larsen Johansson Syndrome
Spondylolysis (Back Stress Fracture)
Stress Fracture Feet
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Early Injury Treatment
Avoid the HARM Factors
Soft Tissue Injury? What are the Healing Phases?
What to do after a Muscle Strain or Ligament Sprain?
Acupuncture and Dry Needling
Sub-Acute Soft Tissue Injury Treatment
Scapular Stabilisation Exercises
Rotator Cuff Exercises
Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises
Active Foot Posture Correction Exercises
Balance Enhancement Exercises
Proprioception & Balance Exercises
Agility & Sport-Specific Exercises
Real Time Ultrasound Physiotherapy
Soft Tissue Massage
ACL Injury Prevention
Brace or Support
Electrotherapy & Local Modalities
Joint Mobilisation Techniques
Scapulohumeral Rhythm Exercises
Supportive Taping & Strapping
Common Physiotherapy Treatment Techniques
What is Pain?
Physiotherapy & Exercise
How Does Kinesiology Tape Reduce Swelling?
What Causes Post-Exercise Muscular Pain?
The Best Core Exercises
Heat Packs. Why does heat feel so good?
How Does an Exercise Ball Help Back Pain?
How to Strap an Ankle
Rotator Cuff: What is it?
Sports Injury? What to do? When?
What are Common Adolescent / Children Leg Injuries?
What are Growing Pains?
What are the Early Warning Signs of an Injury?
What is a TENS Machine?
What is Chronic Pain?
What is Nerve Pain?
What is Sports Physiotherapy?
What is the Shoulder Impingement Zone?
What's the Benefit of Stretching Exercises?
What's Your Core Stability Score?
Related Products for Baseball
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Last updated 06-Apr-2015 11:51 AM
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