Whether your player is a pitcher, catcher, shortstop, or outfielder injuries are bound to happen. In fact, more than 627,000 baseball/softball-related injuries occur every year. Most of these injuries are repetitive use and overuse injuries, like shoulder problems and elbows stiffness. However, quite a few of these injuries are acute and require immediate attention. Many ball players suffer PCL and ACL injuries. Those injuries often require surgery and have significant recovery periods.
Injuries might be unavoidable but the good news is that you can do things to speed your recovery.
1) An ounce of prevention. . . It might be a cliché but it’s true that your recovery period will be faster if you’ve taken time before the injury to properly condition your body. This means stretching and building strength in proportion to each other.
2) Pay attention to fatigue. Whether you’re already injured or not, pay attention to fatigue. There may be some glory in finishing out all nine innings or even pitching into extra innings, but the fact is that once your muscles start to fatigue, you are inviting injury.
3) Don’t forget RICE. This is method is an old tried-and-true standby. When injured (or in recovery) don’t forget to REST the injured area, ICE it, COMPRESS it, and ELEVATE it. All these elements work together to keep inflammation down and promote healing.
4) Strengthen the surrounding muscles. Whenever trauma has occurred in the body it affects all attached areas. If you have a sore shoulder you need to stretch and strengthen your arm and back muscles. If your lower back is sore you need to strengthen your core. If your knees or ACLs are having problems you’ve got to strengthen your quads.
5) Try a new sport for a while. While you are healing it’s important to stay active but you have to do so in a way that won’t overwork your injury or reinjure it entirely. Try swimming, riding a stationary bike or some other form of exercise that you don’t usually do. Not only will this prevent you from reinjuring yourself, but it will also condition your body in new ways — which will give you new strengths when you can return to baseball or softball.
Have you been injured playing baseball or softball? What was your recovery like?
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