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Common Baseball and Softball Injuries

Tips for treating and preventing the most common baseball and softball injuries

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Updated September 04, 2013

Baseball injuries are generally defined as either cumulative (overuse) or acute (traumatic) injuries.

Overuse injuries occur over time due to stress on the muscles, joints and soft tissues without proper time for healing. They begin as a small, nagging ache or pain, and can grow into a debilitating injury if they aren't treated early.

Acute or traumatic injuries occur due to a sudden force, or impact, and can be quite dramatic.

The most common baseball injuries include:

Shoulder

  • Shoulder Tendinitis, Bursitis, and Impingement Syndrome
  • Torn Rotator Cuff
  • Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)
  • Shoulder Separation
  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
  • Shoulder Instability
  • Glenohumeral Arthritis

    Elbow

    Wrist and Hand

    Back

    Knee Ligament Injuries

    Ligament injuries to the knee are very common in sports that require stopping and starting or quickly changing directions. These extreme forces on the knee can result in torn ligaments. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the medial collateral ligament (MCL) are the most often injured, but the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL)can also be injured.

    Cruciate ligament injuries don't always cause pain, but typically cause a loud "pop." Most of these injuries are confirmed with an MRI. Arthroscopic surgery is sometimes the best way to find a partial tear.

    Torn Knee Cartilage Meniscus Injuries)
    Torn knee cartilage is usually a torn meniscus. These small, "c" shaped pieces of cartilage act as cushions between the thigh bone (femur) and the tibia (shin bone). There is one on the outside (lateral meniscus) and one on the inside of the knee (medial meniscus). Meniscus tears are often the result of twisting, pivoting, decelerating, or a sudden impact. It cam be identified by various manual tests a physician can perform to detect torn cartilage.

    Chondromalacia
    This term refers to softening and deterioration of the underside of the kneecap that result in a dull pain around or under the kneecap that worsens when walking down stairs or hills, climbing stair other weight bearing activity.

    Knee Tendonitis and Ruptured Tendons
    Tendonitis is an inflammation or irritation of a tendon often caused by overuse. Tendonitis is often identified due to tenderness at the point where the patellar tendon meets the bone, just below the kneecap. Impacts and sudden movements (such as trying to break a fall) can force the quadriceps muscles to contract forcefully and cause the quadriceps tendon to be strained or possible tear (rupture).

    Miscellaneous Pain and Injuries

    Blisters
    Blisters are fluid-filled sacks on the surface of the skin that commonly occurs on the hands, or the feet.

    Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness
    Also called "DOMS," this muscle pain, stiffness or soreness occurs 24-48 hours after particularly intense exercise or a new program.

    Other Knee Pain
    In order to treat the cause of the pain, it is important to have an evaluation and proper diagnosis.

    Sprains and Strains
    These are acute injuries that vary in severity but usually result in pain, swelling, bruising, and loss of the ability to move and use the joint.

    Stress Fractures
    Stress fractures in the leg are often the result of overuse or repeated impacts on a hard surface

    Many sports injuries result from overuse, lack of proper rest, lack or proper warm ups or poor conditioning. The following safety precautions are recommended to help prevent help volleyball injuries:

    • Warm up thoroughly prior to play.
    • Use good technique and play by the rules.
    • Check the field before play and clean off debris.
    • Have a first aide kit on hand.
    • Get adequate recovery.
    • Stay hydrated.
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