Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers (PBATS) Baseball Conference

days are getting longer, which can only mean one thing . . . baseball and
softball seasons are right around the corner. Brian Ommen, DPT and Cole
Abernathy, ATR recently attended the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers
(PBATS) Baseball Conference in Baltimore, MD. 
This continuing education
opportunity covered common baseball injuries from head to toe.
One of
the most heavily covered topics (and rightfully so) was the throwing shoulder
and arm. Many games, seasons and even careers have ended due to shoulder and
elbow injuries. 
Increased chance for injury can usually be attributed to three
things: poor strength/conditioning, overuse and poor throwing mechanics. 
rotator cuff and scapular strength is often the culprit when assessing a
throwing injury. It is vital to maintain strength both during the season as
well as through the winter. To strengthen these muscles, high reps with low
weight will target the muscles needed to stabilize the shoulder region.
is also common in throwing injuries and is the most avoidable of the three
mentioned above. Most youth baseball leagues now have pitch counts to avoid
extreme overuse. A few things to think about when assessing overuse include:
feeling of arm fatigue/soreness, participating in multiple baseball/softball
leagues, age, and even perceived performance.
throwing mechanics will frequently put unneeded stress on the throwing shoulder
and elbow. Most people think of the shoulder as generating the throwing power
when in actuality the majority of power comes from the legs and trunk. By not
using the proper step, rotation and follow-through the chance of injury
increases with every throw. To assess throwing mechanics, depend on coaches and
even video analysis to evaluate or correct the throwing motion.
and softball seasons are a great time of the year. The proper precautions and
preventative training will help to ensure an enjoyable season. PLAY BALL!