- Previous injury increases risk of reinjury at shoulder and elbow 5 times
- Showcase and Select teams participation increased risk of shoulder and elbow injuries in Little League and High School Pitchers
- Must rapidly address subtle signs of injury or overuse
- Very difficult to control of the “volume of play” with multiple league play (ie select, travel teams, etc)
What can you do to prevent pitching injury?
- Insist on pitch counts that have decreased Little League injuries by %50
- Teach proper pitching technique
- Control “volume of play” with adequate rest is essential. Multiple league play (ie Select, travel teams, etc) makes controlling volume of play more difficult.
- Identify early, subtle signs of injury or overuse
- Education of coaches, parents, players on risks
As noted above, the study showed no evidence “curves” or “breaking” balls increased arm injuries in pitchers!
Many times my role as a sports and orthopedic physical therapist is educating the athletes on conditions that can lead to injury. Numerous times I have been asked to figure out how to rehabilitate an athlete in a very limited window of time. At times physical therapy visits have been cancelled or not scheduled because of conflicts with batting or pitching private lessons. I almost fall over when I have just discussed the overuse issues with the players and parents just prior to this.
The irony of this situation is that, as a small business owner in addition to a physical therapist, having more visits actually benefits my clinic. But if I contributed to the need for more visits by not trying to convince clients of the need for adequate rest, I would be doing a disservice to everyone I treat. Our aim at Apex is always to do what is best for our clients. I always note this paradigm when I feel I’m not being heard when talking to young athletes and parents.
I recently gave the Rutgers Coaches’ “Safety Talk” for the Wyckoff Recreation Department and provided them with a table on the probability of playing in college or professional sports. The statistics are pretty discouraging. Only a select few make it to the College level and fewer receive scholarships, let alone full scholarships. Student-athletes in demanding academic programs face a grueling college experience. Make sure your athlete is truly in it for the “love of the game”, not the scholarship or the promise of professional glory.