4 Facts that You NEED to Know about Throwing Injuries
If you or your child plays baseball, you probably know at least a bit about the potential for throwing injuries. However, you might not know the specifics, of which you will want to be aware if you or your child is serious about baseball.
Not Just a Problem for Pros
First, do not fall under the misconception that throwing injuries only happen to professionals. With the increase in both time spent playing/practicing, as well as the serious attitude associated with youth sports, UCL (Ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow) injuries in teenagers as young as 14 increase yearly.
Prevention is the Best Option
While UCL reconstruction is possible, it’s always better to avoid tearing the important ligament in the first place. Follow best practices for pitches per game, rest and correct arm motion. Throwing form is key, and playing more than one sport also helps to build strength in a variety of areas. Furthermore, the “Thrower’s Ten” exercise program really aids in injury prevention in addition to the ability to pitch.
Recovery: Not Quick, Not Easy
Knowing that the recovery period is anything but easy or quick will hopefully encourage young athletes to take the proper precautions to prevent the injury in the first place. After the injury, patients don’t just schedule a surgery, heal up and start playing again. First, doctors and physical therapists try rest and rehab. Of course, this can take time by itself. If this does not work, doctors go on to reconstruction surgery, after which athletes will need to give both time and effort to fully heal before going back to the game.
Returning to the Game isn’t a Guarantee
If the recovery issues weren’t enough for you to work toward injury prevention, then consider that your chances of returning to the game aren’t necessarily high. For younger players (14-16 years old) only 75% get back in the game after recovery. Even for those 18 and older, only 85% play again after the injury. While both of these are passing grades on a high school test, they aren’t the sort of chances that you want to play with when it comes to a passion (or possible career) like baseball.