Softball injuries among young athletes are on the rise and occur almost as frequently as baseball injuries. The only difference is that they generally cause less time lost to practice or competition. These softball injuries typically involve the shoulder, back, wrist, forearm and hand.
The pitchers are not more prone to injury than the position players, infielders and catchers. Nevertheless, the injuries sustained by the pitchers tend to differ from the position players since pitchers utilizes a windmill motion that places distinct demands on the neck, back, forearm, shoulder and wrist.
Common overuse soccer injuries
For the pitchers, the common overuse injuries include shoulder tendinitis, tendinitis of the wrist, elbow and forearm as well as neck or back pain. Among catchers, they usually suffer from knee or back problems aside from the overhead throwing shoulder issues. When it comes to the position players, overhead shoulder and oftentimes elbow issues are quite common.
Prevention of overuse injuries in softball
Always bear in mind that overuse injuries in softball can be prevented. There are several measures to bear in mind so that players can continue to enjoy the sport.
- Observe proper warm up by running, stretching and gradual throwing
- The players should rotate with other positions.
- Focus on age-appropriate pitching
- It is vital to stick with the pitch count guidelines
- Players should not continuously play all year-round.
- It is not advisable to pitch on multiple teams with overlapping seasons.
- The flexibility of the pitchers should be the focus during the season rather than strengthening.
- If the player experiences pain while pitching, a doctor should be consulted if the pain persists for a week.
- Avoid pitching more than 2 consecutive days until 13 years old and not more than 3 days in a row.
- Return to play only when the doctor has given clearance.
Management of overuse softball injuries
The commonly used treatment when it comes to overuse injuries is no other than rest. The individual must take a break from activities that caused the injury. It is also recommended to apply an ice pack or cold compress to relieve the inflammation and soreness. In addition, pain medications such as ibuprofen can be given to reduce the pain.
In case the symptoms persist, it is vital to consult a physical therapist so that an appropriate rehabilitation program can be started especially in cases where there is lack of full motion. Unlike with baseball injuries, most softball injuries do not require surgery but consulting a healthcare professional is vital, especially in cases where the pain persists or the injury recurs. In some cases, surgery might be required to correct an issue.