orthopedics, sports medicine

Tips on preventing youth baseball and softball injuries

As Major League Baseball gets underway, Cardinals and Royals fans have plenty to cheer, anticipating a successful 2017 season.

Even if you’re not a big-league fan or player, you probably know a few Little Leaguers who are gearing up this spring to play in our national pastime.

And you no doubt would like to keep those Little Leaguers and older teens on the field all season. Injuries to young baseball players are increasing, particularly elbow and shoulder injuries, health experts say.

Injuries also are prevalent in girls softball. For pitchers, the most common are shoulder tendinitis, back or neck pain, and elbow, forearm, and wrist tendinitis. For catchers, back and knee problems in addition to overhead throwing shoulder problems are the most common. For other position players, overhead shoulder and elbow problems persist.

At Signature Medical Group, we care about your young male and female athletes. Our orthopedic and sports medicine experts will treat your youngster’s injuries and give you advice on how to prevent them.

Often, you can see our specialists the same day you make an appointment. And we offer convenient hours at night and on weekends.

Among the tips experts recommend for preventing arm and shoulder injuries in young players are:

  • Warm up properly by stretching and running. Start with easy, gradual throwing.
  • Rotate playing other positions besides pitcher.
  • Adhere to pitch count guidelines. The younger the pitcher, the fewer pitches should be thrown.
  • Avoid pitching on multiple teams with overlapping seasons.
  • Don’t pitch with elbow or shoulder pain. If the pain persists, see a Signature Medical Group doctor.
  • Communicate regularly about how your arm is feeling and if there is pain.
  • Emphasize control, accuracy, and good mechanics.
  • For baseball pitchers, master the fastball first and the change-up second, before considering breaking pitches.

If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact a Signature Medical Group orthopedic or sports medicine expert. Make an appointment today and enjoy the season with you and your youngster.