Spring Sports Injury Series: Common Baseball Injuries
The 2015 baseball season is up and running, and that means that pros and amateurs alike are out there on a regular basis running the bases and hitting home runs (we hope)! In the midst of all of this excitement however, sometimes we lose sight of the fact that baseball can be a source of major strain on the body, and for regular players, baseball injuries can be quite common.
What kind of injuries are we talking about? The most common occur as a result of contact (odd in a non-contact sport, we know), and as a result of repetition. These often include muscle strains and ligament sprains.
We’ve compiled a short list of some of the most common, what their symptoms are, and some of the most popular treatment options.
- The repetitive yet abrupt motions unavoidable in baseball often lead to shoulder injuries, including a torn rotator cuff, rotator cuff tendonitis, shoulder tendonitis or shoulder instability. Symptoms of these types of injuries may include decreased range of motion, pain, and weakness in the shoulder. Treatment varies, and depends on the severity of the injury – but ignoring the pain in the hopes that it will go away will likely only make it worse – see a sports medicine physician right away.
- Tennis elbow is another common baseball injury, occurring as a result of repetition or an abrupt injury. Symptoms typically include pain in the area, usually worse with movement, and weakness. Treatment: physical therapy to improve the muscle or a custom elbow brace.
- Knee injuries, including ligament injuries (ACL, MCL), torn cartilage (meniscus tears), and ruptured tendons, are also common baseball injuries. These can be the result of overuse and thus degradation, or because of a sudden, sharp twist or stop that puts too much pressure on the knee. Pain and decreased movement are typical symptoms. Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment may include rest, physical therapy, knee bracing and sometimes surgery, but seeking medical advice is always the best place to start.
- Although not as common as some of those listed above, a herniated disk is also a common problem in the sport. A herniated disk occurs when the disc is damaged – there are a number of different causes – but in baseball it is usually the result of a fall, repeated straining of the back, or a sudden sharp twist of the back. Symptoms may include pain, weakness, or numbness or tingling. Treatment for a herniated disk usually involves rest, physical therapy and massage therapy, or injections to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Concussions are also a problem in baseball, and even with the use of helmets (and these make a huge difference), a concussion can still occur. A fall or a hit to the head can lead to a concussion – but since they are so difficult to diagnose they sometimes go untreated (leading to further issues). If you believe a concussion has been sustained, contact a sports injury clinic that specializes in concussion management right away.
No matter the level of play, baseball injuries need to be treated correctly to help get you back on the field. The best thing to do if you suffer an injury is seek treatment from a sports injury clinic to avoid further injury and decrease pain.
For more about dealing with one of these baseball injuries, please call Athletic Edge Sports Medicine today at 416-800-0800 or visit www.aesmphysiotherapytoronto.ca.