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Play Ball … Safely!

Little league baseball team sitting on bench during game.

It’s that time of year again.  Time to lace up the cleats, strap on the helmet and “play ball.”  As children gear up for another season of softball, t-ball and baseball, it’s important to keep safety and injury prevention tips in mind!  Common injuries usually fall into two different categories, impact/contact and overuse. Impact/contact injuries are the result of the body coming in contact with a stationary or moving object. Impact injuries include broken or twisted ankles, concussions and sprains or strains.  Overuse injuries are caused by repetitive actions that over time wear and/or stretch the muscles, joints or soft tissue. Players who pitch for their team are especially susceptible to overuse injuries.  Overuse of the arm and shoulder often cause a condition commonly known as Little League Elbow.  It is recommended that pitching is limited to a maximum of six innings per week and rest periods between pitching days should also be required.

Every team member should practice proper stretching and warm-up techniques while also cooling down after activity and avoid playing while in pain.  Keep the tips below in mind to ensure your kids truly enjoy this summer season!

Tips:

  • Teach kids to listen to symptoms: Young athletes should be taught to listen to how their bodies are feeling. The first sign of a problem is pain.
  • Observe their techniques: Coaches need to observe techniques, especially in pitchers.  Prolonged improper pitching can lead to long-term shoulder damage.  Additionally, improper technique can lead to an overuse injury.
  • Condition: If possible start a conditioning program one month or more before the start of the season. A basic stretching routine should be used prior to a player even picking up a ball!
  • Use ice: If a player is experiencing sore muscles and tightness, ice should be applied to the area for 10-15 minutes to help minimize the amount of blood that would otherwise likely drain into the muscle.

Physical therapy can serve as an important preventative measure as well as a rehabilitation resource.  If you would like additional information on a physical therapy program that is right for you, please call toll-free 888-644-7747 or click here to locate a physical therapist at one of our PHOENIX facilities nearest you.