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Monday, February 17, 2014

Over use Elbow/Shoulder Injuries in Youth Baseball

             Injuries in young throwing athletes are on the rise, and elbow and shoulder injuries are the most common. Thousands of children are seen each year complaining of elbow or shoulder pain. Damage or tearing to the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) or growth plates in the elbow and shoulder are the most common injuries suffered and are often caused by pitchers throwing too much.  When any of these structures become damaged it can take weeks to months to rehabilitate (and, worst case scenario, surgery).  When athletes are forced out of any sport due to injury, it can jeopardize their chances of attending showcases and it can inhibit their overall performance if they are trying to play through the injury.

 
Elbow and shoulder injuries can be easily prevented.  Here are some easy steps to follow:
  • Warm up properly by running, stretching and easing into throwing
  • Rotate playing other positions besides pitching
  • Concentrate on age-appropriate pitch counts
  • If an athlete feels any pain while pitching, have them stop.  If the pain persists, have them see a medical professional.
  • Don't pitch on consecutive days
  • An athlete should communicate regularly about how their arm is feeling and if there is pain
  • Develop skills that are age-appropriate, for example, no off-speed (breaking type) pitches
  • Emphasis on control, accuracy and good mechanics
  • Master the fast-ball first and then the change-up second, before considering breaking-type pitches
  • Speak with a sports medicine professional (Doctor, Athletic Trainer or Sports Medicine Specialist) if you have any concerns about baseball injuries or baseball injury prevention strategies.
        Through proper injury prevention and sports enhancement training the risks of getting an overuse injury decreases.  Not only do you get injury prevention benefits through proper training, but your skills and deficits start to improve and your overall performance will be enhanced.  Athletes will notice an increase in control, velocity and strength.  The amount of time it takes to recover will also decrease. 


            Pitch counts, rest periods and pitch-age recommendations:

Source: From work by James R. Andrews, MD, and Glenn S. Fleisig, PhD.
 
 
AGE
PITCHES/GAME
7-8
50
9-10
75
11-12
85
13-16
95
17-18
105
AGES 14 AND UNDER
AGES 15-18
REQUIRED # OF REST DAYS AFTER PITCHING
66+
76+
4 calendar days
51-65
61-75
3 calendar days
36-50
46-60
2 calendar days
21-35
31-45
1 calendar day
1-20
1-30
None
PITCH
AGE
Fastball
8(+-2)
Slider
16(+-2)
Change-up
10(+-3)
Forkball
16(+-2)
Curveball
14(+-2)
Knuckleball
15(+-3)
Screwball
17(+-2)
             Please contact me for more information about injury prevention and sports enhancement training.  Don’t let an injury get in the way of your future.  WEBSITE 

           Please contact me if you have any topics you would like me to research.

Monday, February 10, 2014

How to prevent overuse injuries (in-season basketball specific)

Preventing over-use injuries in sports...

Don't let your season be cut short by an injury!!!
                As we enter the halfway point during the basketball season, a common question in sports medicine is: How does an athlete prevent over-use injuries? Some common injuries in basketball are knee and ankle sprains (of various degrees). With proper training and the combination of rest and good nutritional habits the likelihood of these injuries can be decreased.


                Rest and nutrition is an important aspect of training and sports. If your body is being over-worked on a regular basis and is not given the proper time to rest, this can lead to injury. An average adolescent needs 8-10 hours of sleep per night. Adding a day of cross training can be extremely beneficial for an athlete. For example, riding a stationary bicycle on a rest day can be added to change the regular routine and to help get rid of unwanted pathogens. Performing an active rest period can help the body heal and recover quickly. If your muscles are sore, icing for 15-20 minutes 2-3 times per day can also help speed up recovery time and prevent soreness.
                Nutrition is another important aspect of training and recovery. During training and sports your muscles are broken down and need to be repaired. The proper nutrients needed for maximum recovery is attained through an athlete's diet. If your diet consists of highly processed foods (fast food) that are stripped of nutrients and minerals then your body is unable to repair itself. If you eat foods that are rich with nutrients and minerals then your body will recover quickly (such as non-processed vegetables, grains, fruits and meats).
                During a sports season the priority of an athlete's training should be the sport itself. Lifting programs should be kept to a maintenance phase only. Rehabilitation can also be utilized for sore muscles to also enhance recovery and decrease the chances of suffering an injury.
                In conclusion, an injury can have not only physical impacts on an athlete, but it can also have mental impacts. An athlete can feel disconnected from their team; their motivation decreases and drive can be negatively affected. Practicing proper injury prevention techniques as listed above can help an athlete steer clear of injuries and/or decrease the severity of an injury. An athlete should listen to his/her body in an attempt to help catch the warning signs of a possible over use injury.  Please visit Precision Sports Training, LLC and contact us for injury prevention training options.