The strenuous demands of throwing a baseball places a great deal of stress on your arms, soft tissue, muscles and bones. Shoulder and elbow injuries are common among baseball players of all ages. Today, young athletes face pressure to focus on one sport, often playing year round and participating on multiple teams. Without taking time off or changing sports during the year, baseball players commonly experience arm soreness and are likely to develop overuse injuries. These overuse injuries can often lead to more serious injuries. Prevention is key!
- Warm up properly before throwing.
- Take part in preseason and in-season baseball strength and conditioning programs.
- Avoid year-round playing to give the body a chance to rest and recover. Playing different sports helps ensure that the same muscles aren't used all the time.
The 5 Best Baseball Stretches:
- Pendulum swings: If you have shoulder pain and stiffness, this exercise will help loosen things up and make your shoulder feel a lot better. Lean forward while holding on to the back of a chair for support with one arm. Let the other arm hang loose in front of you and let it swing like a pendulum making circular or side-to-side movements. Do about 30 seconds of pendulum swings with each arm.
- Wall walks: This is a great exercise to improve joint mobility after shoulder surgery. Stand facing a wall and place your fingertips on it. Slowly walk up the wall with your fingers stopping at your end range of motion in the shoulder and then slowly walk your fingers back down again. Try to increase range of motion over time, but don’t push it so that you feel pain in the shoulder.
- External rotation with the resistance band: Hold the ends of a resistance band in each hand and bend your arms at a 90-degree angle. Keeping your elbow fixed at your side, slowly external rotate the shoulder to stretch the resistance band and then slowly let the band pull your hands together again. Do about 10-15 repetitions.
- Shoulder rows with resistance bands: Sit on the floor with your feet out in front of you. Wrap the resistance band around the soles of your feet and hold the ends of the band in each hand. Pull the band in a smooth rowing motion towards your body. Do about 10-15 repetitions.
- Rotating Wrist and Forearm Stretch: Place one arm straight out in front and parallel to the ground. Rotate your wrist down and outwards and then use your other hand to further rotate your hand upwards.
Before engaging in any exercise program, those with a history of arm problems or those currently experiencing pain should first be evaluated by a physician, physical therapist, or athletic trainer. Some players may require additional arm care strategies such as passive stretching and soft tissue mobilization techniques. For all appointments, please call (561) 496-6622.
Dr. Russell D. Weisz is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with a one-year fellowship in orthopedic traumatology. Dr. Weisz completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the New York University-Hospital for Joint Diseases, publishing papers and giving national presentations on fracture treatment and joint replacement surgery. Dr. Weisz has performed a tremendous amount of minimally invasive hip fracture surgeries and is committed to staying in the forefront of treating complex fractures and fractures that don’t heal. Our team of physicians provides an advanced level of care, integrating the newest cutting-edge surgical and nonsurgical techniques, with proven traditional methods of treatments. The physicians at South Palm Orthopedics are committed to providing the highest level of orthopedic care to each and every patient each and every time.