- Physician Teams
As the spring season quickly approaches and athletes venture outside, the most glaring issue for overhead throwing athletes is overuse injuries. We see this primarily with pitchers in baseball and infielders in baseball and softball. Baseball pitchers at the high school level are most likely to produce symptoms.
Pitchers are at a high risk simply because of the repetitive maximal exertional movement. Think about an average baseball game… a pitcher will throw upwards of 100 pitches and sometimes more during a given game. This does not include the pre-game warm up, which can be around 50 pitches, or the pre-inning warm up, which may be 10-15 Pitches for each inning. In a standard 7-inning high school game a pitcher can produce over 200 maximal effort movements that place the joint under a great amount of stress.
The best method to address these issues is prevention. A proper mobility and strengthening program will help your body handle the stresses involved and allow you to recover more efficiently. You will also see an increase in your ability to perform at a higher level for a longer duration. In the event you have an overuse injury, the best course of action is rest and a rehabilitation program.
If rest is not a possibility, then consult your athletic trainer on the best steps that would allow you to continue activity. Use your athletic trainer as much as possible as they will know how to keep you on the field safely.