QC softball and baseball diamonds are hopping right now. We love our summer ball! But take care not to let your kids overdo it.
Elbow and shoulder injuries in young athletes are rising at an alarming rate. Most of these injuries can be attributed to throwing too hard, too much, too early, or too little rest. Given the fact that all of these factors can be modified, coaches and parents play a key role in preventing many of the common injuries seen in young throwers.
The sports medicine experts at Quad-City ORA Orthopedics offer the following guidelines to help you know what to do … and when to do it. Download a PDF of a brochure on Baseball Injuries & Prevention from ORA.
Tips to Prevent Throwing Injuries
- Warm up by running and gentle stretching before throwing
- Begin each practice with throwing technique and then progress distance and velocity slowly
- Avoid pitching for multiple teams in the same season
- Never pitch with shoulder or elbow pain
- Emphasize proper mechanics and control
- Avoid using a radar gun
- Take at least four months off from throwing each year
- Limit the number of throws per day
- Adhere to pitch count and rest guidelines charts
When your Athlete Feels Pain
- First, stop throwing or significantly decrease the frequency and intensity of the throwing.
- Ice and anti-inflammatory medication can also be helpful but should never be used to help an athlete “throw through the pain.”
- Throwing with pain is NEVER normal – no matter the age of the athlete. If pain persists or recurs after appropriate rest, see a sports medicine professional who understands the needs of the throwing athlete.
Other helpful reference charts for pitchers and parents:
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