Baseball and softball injuries part 1: Rotator cuff and ulnar collateral ligaments

With both baseball and softball seasons in full swing it’s time to re-visit throwing injuries and safety. There are several different throwing injuries that can occur. My goal for this series of posts for June and July is to touch on the most common and how to treat and prevent those injuries.

The shoulder injury which garners the most attention is most likely the rotator cuff tear. The rotator cuff consists of 4 muscles which help to keep the ball of the joint in the socket. These muscles are vital to throwing motion (and everyday movement) to stabilize the shoulder. Rotator cuff strengthening is necessary to avoid tears. Another important function of the rotator cuff is to absorb the energy of the throwing motion in order to avoid stresses on other parts of the arm such as the elbow.


Elbow injuries get a lot of attention in throwing sports. Most people have heard of the dreaded Tommy John procedure where the ulnar collateral ligament is reconstructed. This procedure commonly sidelines a player for a full year if not longer. When the stress of the throwing motion is not able to be absorbed by the shoulder joint, the next stop for this stress is the elbow. Most often a throwers elbow pain has been caused by one of 2 things. Either he or she has weakness in his or her rotator cuff or they may have mechanic issues which can stress the elbow in unneeded ways.

Interested in more information? Leave us a post! Also, check back next week for the 2nd of 4 parts in our throwing injury series!