Baseball Injuries

Kevin Mangum, D.O. is a Utah sports medicine and family medicine physician who treats non-operative orthopedic conditions including neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, elbow pain, wrist pain, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, broken bones (fractures), tendon injuries, ligament injuries, concussions and many other sport related injuries.

What is the most common injury in baseball?

Rotator cuff injuries are common in baseball. You have four rotator cuff muscles in each shoulder that drive the arm in different directions. There are several types of injuries that can be sustained to these muscles, each of varying severity. Tendonitis is also very common, and it is pain caused by overuse and swelling of the tendons. Shoulder impingement is common, and is pain caused by pinching of the labrum and other tissues. It is also common to completely tear the labrum, which may require surgery. These conditions can also result in joint instability. If a tear is suspected, it can be confirmed via MRI imaging. 

How do you treat baseball injuries?

Treatments range from NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and tylenol) to physical therapy/ surgery, depending on the extent of the injury. Most forms of tendonitis can be treated with rest and NSAIDs, while impingement and labral tears will likely require more aggressive treatment. 

What are the injury risks of baseball?

There is small risk of blunt chest impact, head trauma, and eye trauma. Most injuries involve soft tissue trauma and are non-contact injuries. 

What are the top 5 most common baseball injuries?

The top 5 most common baseball injuries include rotator cuff injuries, impingement, labral tear, SLAP lesions, and Ulnar collateral ligament injury. See a sports medicine physician to evaluate the extent of the injury and to develop a treatment plan. 

Why do I have elbow pain in baseball? 

Elbow pain in baseball often happens because of repeated stress in the valgus or inward direction on the elbow, which can cause elbow instability and pain. The ligaments on the inside of your elbow can become irritated and even in some cases can completely tear.

How to prevent baseball injuries

Pitch restrictions to prevent overuse injuries in pitchers are important. Also, throwing mechanics play a big part in injuries. Players also need to train properly and be conditioned to play. Safety equipment such as batting helmets and cups are also helpful. 

Rehabilitation exercises for baseball injuries

Rehab for baseball players is injury specific. A high quality physical therapy regimen will include therapy to strengthen large lower body muscle groups and small upper body muscle groups. Strengthening of the scapula and rotator cuff will also be helpful. 

What are Pitch Smart guidelines?

Major league baseball (MLB) and USA baseball have made Pitch Smart guidelines. The following are the recommended pitching counts to help avoid injuries in youth baseball players.

USA baseball Pitch Count Limits and Required Rest Recommendations

A recent study concluded that “noncompliance with Pitch Smart guidelines in tournament settings occurred in more than 90% of teams and almost half of all pitchers. Factors associated with noncompliance included younger pitcher age, high-volume pitching, and pitching in multiple consecutive games. Education of tournament directors, coaches, parents, and athletes regarding pitching guidelines is warranted in order to limit the risk of injury.”

If you are suffering from a baseball injury, please schedule an appointment with Kevin Mangum, D.O. a primary care sports medicine provider in Salt Lake City Utah.

Gift Ideas for Baseball players.

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  1. Greiner, Justin J., et al. “Pitching behaviors in youth baseball: comparison with the Pitch Smart guidelines.” Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine 9.11 (2021): 23259671211050127.
  2. O’Connor, Francis G., ed. “ACSM’s sports medicine: a comprehensive review.” (2012).