Most people don’t think of baseball as a dangerous sport, mainly because of its lack of player contact. Don’t be fooled by its simple nature, baseball players can get seriously injured, and the injuries are usually self inflicted. Any time you have fast moving muscles being put in awkward positions, a high risk of injury occurs. Pitchers tend to be the most injured player on the field due to the strenuous nature of throwing the ball at speeds that are illegal to travel at on a highway.
No Pain No Gain is a Myth
As summer approaches, baseball heats up. The sport is on all of our minds as we hike to the little league fields and bring out families to the brand new SunTrust Park to catch a professional game. Over 600,000 injuries occur per year from playing baseball and 117,000 of those injuries are experienced by 5-14 year-olds. The ability to run, pitch, and swing at top performance is imperative, so it is never wise to ignore pain or symptoms. Baseball injuries go beyond typical neck and back pain and can often lead to the need for surgery.
Common Baseball Injuries
- Rotator Cuff Tear: This injury is most commonly seen in pitchers. The cuff is a network of four muscles that come together as tendons to form a covering around the upper arm bone. The cuff is the reason why the shoulder can move into so many positions. Repetitive motions can cause these tendons to wear down over time as well as sudden injuries, like running into the outfield wall or another player. Rotator cuff injuries are characterized by pain while lifting or lowering the shoulder.
- UCL Injury aka Tommy John: The Ulnar Collateral Ligament acts as a stabilizer for the elbow and prevents it from bending sideways. This ligament is stressed with repetitive throwing motions making it a common pitcher injury. Pitching and throwing puts stress on the joint from putting the elbow in a position that isn’t natural (sideways bend). UCL injuries are characterized by pain and tenderness in the inner elbow.
- Muscle Sprain/Strain/Spasm: Identified as THE most common sports injuries and is usually the result of overuse. In baseball these injuries are common in the legs, arms and back. Muscle and ligaments become overstretched or torn due to a lack of recovery time. These injuries are characterized by pain, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, bruising, and swelling and inflammation of the injured area.
- Herniated Disc: We have discs in our spine that sit between the vertebrae to absorb shock. Repetitive actions, the torque movement needed to throw a baseball, traumatic injuries and collisions and muscle degeneration cause irritation, stress and pressure to occur on the spinal nerves. If these injuries occur in the lower back, they are characterized by weakness in one leg, tingling or numbness, burning pain. If they occur in the neck, they are characterized by tingling, numbness or weakness of the arms, burning pain in the shoulders, neck and arm.
How Can Chiropractic Care Help?
It is important to know what to do right after an injury occurs, but it is even more important to know how to prevent these injuries. Chiropractic care and proper prevention techniques can help minimize the risk of injury. The goal of chiropractic care is to resolve the issue causing the problem and restore proper function before it gets unmanageable. With the proper treatment, chiropractic care can improve the current condition and alignment of an athlete’ body.
- It Can Manage Pain: Chiropractic care can provide relief from severe pain involving the spine, muscles and joints through spinal adjustments that realign an athlete’s body to sooth the injured area. Once the body starts functioning normally again, the pain will reside.
- It Can Increase Mobility: Strains, pulls and over extensions can be very uncomfortable and cause serious issues while preventing you from playing. Adjustments can reduce inflammation and improve mobility. If after a game you can’t put weight on your knee, move your neck, or experience pain when you lift your shoulder, a trip to the chiropractor might be necessary to sort out the problem and get you back on the field.
- It Can Promote Healing: Chiropractic care treats the entire body as a whole. As your body’s alignment improves, it starts to function better and begins to heal itself. Injuries like tendonitis, strained muscles, and torn rotator cuffs heal faster with chiropractic care and increased blood flow to the injured area and less pressure on the body (misalignment) allows the injury to heal quicker.
Krieger Health Solutions Will Get You Back on the Field
If you are experiencing painful symptoms that are interfering with your athletic performance, come see Krieger Health Solutions. Dr. Krieger provides a drug free, less invasive way to manage pain and promote healing. Athletes are starting to make the connection between chiropractic care and sport performance. At Krieger Health Solutions, our attentive staff will take the time to help you determine the cause of your pain and develop a treatment plan that gets you feeling better quickly. We offer chiropractic care as well as whole body holistic health solutions that can not only improve sports performance but can improve your life as well.
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