Baseball pitchers are throwing faster, training harder, and pushing the limits more now than ever before. With that comes the question: When the pressure to perform consistently is on, how do you keep up without falling victim to overuse injury?
MUCL injuries and rotator cuff tears are some of the most common overuse injuries in baseball. Repetitive motions and excessive strain on the same muscles, tendons, and ligaments can lead to an increased risk for overuse injuries. The good news is that there are measures that can be taken to avoid overuse injuries and stay in the game.
“A MUCL injury results in an average of 17.2 months out of competition at the professional level.”1
Injury Prevention Tips for Baseball Pitchers
1. Warm Up
Warming up before throwing is an important step in injury prevention. During a warm up, blood flow increases in your body, increasing the temperature of your muscles. When muscles are warmed, their elasticity increases which reduces muscle tension and allows the muscles to contract efficiently. Including a warm up prior to pitching can also help improve your range of motion. Decreased rotation and flexion can lead to an increased risk for elbow injuries, especially at the pro level.
“Overuse is the predominant mechanism of injury in youth baseball players.”1
During offseason especially, make sure you continue to strengthen and condition your muscles. Going from 0 to 100 once the season starts up again is almost a sure fire way to get an injury. At the pro and college level, many players get injured during the progression from off season to in season training. While taking a break is essential, it’s recommended to maintain strength and gradually increase workload while transitioning into training. This will help prevent overuse injuries. When muscles, tendons, and ligaments are strong, they can take on more activity and won’t be as likely to break down.
Because overuse is so strongly related to baseball pitching injuries, recovery has to be an essential part of every pitcher’s training routine. From youth athletes to pro pitchers, every level of players are at risk for overuse injuries. Recovery techniques should be used after every game or throwing session. Most importantly, athletes should make sure they are fully recovered before pitching again. Over 200 professional pitchers and all 30 MLB teams use Marc Pro to recover and prevent injuries. One of the advantages of Marc Pro is that you can recover faster and get back to pitching the next day fully recovered.
1Melugin, Heath P. et al. “Injury Prevention in Baseball: From Youth to the Pros.” Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine 11.1 (2018): 26–34. PMC. Web. 26 Apr. 2018.
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