Injuries on the rise in youth baseball
DeKALB – Research shows the number of injuries in adolescent athletes is increasing for a variety of reasons. Injuries to the shoulder, elbow and wrist are most common for the adolescent throwing athlete, according to specialists at Northern Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine. Most of these conditions are minor and respond to rest.
Year-round baseball, with too many pitches and not enough rest, plus the inherent physical weakness of growing bodies, creates the perfect situation for injury. Only 63 percent of coaches actually count pitches, even though pitches and innings are restricted. Many injuries are related to repetitive motions or overuse stress, and can lead to a more serious injury if not treated in a timely fashion.
Fifty to 75 percent of youth baseball players report elbow pain at some point. “Little League elbow” is mainly related to injury to the elbow’s growth plates. Growing athletes are susceptible to unique elbow injuries as a result of stressing the joint too much with frequency or poor technique. Symptoms of elbow injury include poor or decreased throwing
performance, pain and swelling in the elbow, and difficulty straightening the joint, with tenderness to the inside of the elbow.
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