Baseball Injuries Treatment
Over the year, baseball’s popularity has gained momentum and is now one of the most popular, truly American sports, as well as a staple recreational activity. While there have been many debates as to where baseball originated from, saying that the sport was originated from one of the English folk sports such as cricket, the game of baseball the way we know it today in the United States, was invented in 1845 by a New Yorker. Today, Major League Baseball (MLB) is the second most popular American sport, rated only after NFL.
Baseball is a physically intensive team sport, where the possibility of getting injury is quite high. Statistics show that there’s a steady increase in the number of injuries happening in baseball with professional MLB players being placed on the disabled list for varying durations of time. The types of injuries can be differentiated by which side the player is playing – for example, the fielding team players, particularly the pitchers, tend to sustain injuries to the shoulder and wrist while playing the game. The batting team, in contrast, has more injuries involving lower extremities happening to them, sustained for example when making a dive for the base. Sprains, strains, repetitive stress injuries and tears of ligaments and tendons are the recurring conditions prevalent to the sport.
When pitching the ball in baseball, the movement of the arm and the shoulder goes through 4 phases – the wind up, cocking, acceleration, and finally deceleration. Throwing the ball requires the pitcher to generate an immense force to produce the needed velocity for the ball to travel in a fast and precise manner. By doing so, the tendons in the shoulder are put under tremendous strain, which cause a common condition among baseball player’s – also known as the “Pitcher’s shoulder’. When the athlete feels pain in the shoulder region, usually accommodated with a tingling feeling extending down the arm and difficulty doing overhead motions, this is a sign that there is most likely a type of tendinopathy (tendon disease) taking place in the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is made out of several muscles and tendons which support the shoulder and enable the arm to rotate. Depending on the diagnosis, most likely it is either tendinitis (inflammation of the tendons caused by micro tears in the soft tissue the tendon is composed of) or a tear of the tendon. The tear of the tendon results in diminished ability to perform any overhead motions.
Along with shoulder baseball players’ injuries, pitchers commonly suffer injuries to their dominant hand’s wrist. With consistent wear and tear occurring from practices, a number of conditions can happen to the wrist. For example, one of the most common complaints pitchers and hitters complain of is the pain caused by a median nerve, which is responsible for movement of the fingers, being compressed in the wrist. Overuse causes the tendons to become inflamed, thus causing the tendons passing through the carpal tunnel with the median nerve in the wrist to compress the nerve, resulting in pain felt by the athletes. The simplest way to determine whether it is indeed this condition is to do a simple test – the Tinel’s sign test. It is done by tapping on the inside part of the wrist to determine whether the pain is directly related to this injury. If, in the process of this test, you feel a tingling pain, then you most likely have the carpal tunnel syndrome.
However, it may also be due to a partial tear of the tendon, which would induce such pain, prompted by either pitching differently or catching a ball. In both cases, the pain isn’t just felt in the wrist, but extends to the thumb, index and middle fingers. Depending on the severity of the pain, either rest the hand and avoid sport until it passes, or preferably, see a specialist for a diagnosis.
Quick sprints between bases and sliding motions when trying to make it to the base quite often result in injuries to the knee. Besides the tear and wear which occurs in the knee tendons, for example due to overuse, traumas to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are common. This ligament is located in the front part of the knee, connecting shin and thigh bones together, which in turn, enables the knee to rotate and extend. Varying degrees of pain signal how severe the injury may be, and is vital to get it checked out by a professional. It should be noted that in mild forms of the ACL injury, pain tends to disappear after a couple of weeks, however, it does not necessarily mean that the injury has healed on its own, and quite possibly, further deterioration of the knee is taking place.
Baseball, being a physically demanding contact sport requires several simple steps in order to prevent an injury. Before any training session, it is essential to warm up the muscles, and after the session – a cool down will help ease the tension in the soft tissue.
Injury conditioning involves the RICE methodology, which centers around rest and letting the body regain its strength and recuperate, applying ice and compression to the affected area, and keeping the injury elevated.
TREATMENT AT OUR CLINIC
Every athlete wants to prolong their career and spend a little longer doing what they love most – playing their sport. Weekend warriors, in that regard, are no different. Unfortunately, sometimes an injury may get in the way of that. The NYCSPT clinic offers a unique approach to diagnostic and rehabilitative treatment, and is the only private clinic on the East Coast which has such innovative technologies available to treat injuries in its patients. In combination with the expert team, who have cross-discipline knowledge in orthopedics, sports medicine and varying neuromusculoskeletal conditions and their pathologies, we offer a one of a kind non-invasive approach to treating different sports injuries, ranging from a computer assisted rehabilitation environment (CAREN) and extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), to dynamic neuromuscular stabilization (DNS) treatment methods, among many treatments available at our clinic. These, in combination to traditional manual and physical therapies have proven to be successful in rehabilitative processes of various tendinopathies and more serious injuries, such as tendon tears.