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4 steps to recovering faster from a baseball shoulder injury

Baseball Shoulder Injuries
3 minutes, 46 seconds

The shoulder is a crucial joint for baseball players. It is used for every catching and throwing motion players make on the field. The shoulder also plays a major role in a player’s swing while they’re batting. 

Thus, a shoulder injury can be devastating for baseball players. However, although any player can develop a shoulder injury, there is one player in particular who is likely to develop a shoulder injury. 

Which baseball player is the most likely to develop a shoulder injury?

Every player throws the ball around to varying degrees, but few do so as much as the pitcher. 

So much of a pitcher’s performance depends on the reliability of their shoulders. Unfortunately, pitchers are also more likely to develop a shoulder injury than those who play other positions. In fact, a study of all Major League Baseball injuries showed that several upper extremity injuries were predominant among pitchers, more than any other position. 

What shoulder injuries are baseball players most likely to develop?

The shoulder is a complex joint that’s made up of many bones, muscles and other types of soft tissue. It also has an incredible ability to move in a variety of directions. However, the downside to this high mobility is high instability. 

This lack of stability along with factors like lack of stretching or overuse can cause baseball players to develop a wide range of shoulder injuries. Some of the most common baseball-related shoulder injuries include:

  • Rotator cuff tears.
  • Superior labrum anterior and posterior (SLAP) tears.
  • Tendinitis.
  • Muscle and tendon strains.
  • Ligament sprains.
  • Abnormally loose ligaments. 
  • Dislocations.

A baseball player’s shoulder injury can keep them out of games for months. As a result, it can be vital for them to know ways in which they can recover fast and effectively.

4 steps to recovering from a baseball shoulder injury

A player’s training and pitching load can have a major impact on their risk for developing shoulder injuries. This is because baseball players use incredible power and force in their throws. 

A player’s fatigue level, body mechanics, and shoulder alignment can also influence the severity and intensity of their shoulder injury. If a pitcher sustained a shoulder injury, their recovery time can vary depending on whether their injury is a strain, partial tear or tear. 

Yet there are steps an injured player can take to help reduce their recovery time. The following four steps can help baseball players jump-start their recovery from most shoulder injuries:

  1. Stretch and massage the areas around the injured shoulder.

It can be incredibly painful to try to exercise an injured shoulder. However, massaging the muscles and tendons that surround the injury can help release tension on the injured area. Doing so can encourage blood flow to the shoulder, relieve strain and decrease the intensity of pain. The effects of the self-massage can then allow you to gently stretch the injured shoulder, which can help reduce your symptoms even further.

  1. Practice strengthening exercises. 

Weak shoulders muscles can contribute to the joint’s normal lack of stability. Strengthening exercises can help reengage injured muscles, stabilize the shoulder joint and encourage it to return to its proper alignment. Both active and passive joint mobilization techniques can also be used by physical therapists to gently strengthen weakened muscles, increase blood flow to the injured shoulder and jump-start healing. 

  1. Go to physical therapy.

Sports physical therapists are experts on common athletic injuries. They can evaluate a baseball player’s shoulder injury, determine a treatment plan and help the athlete prevent future injuries. Physical therapists can use a range of techniques — like soft tissue mobilization — to help baseball players improve their mobility, speed, balance and coordination on the field.

  1. Work to prevent future injuries.

The final step in recovering from a baseball-related shoulder injury is working to prevent another shoulder injury. This is one reason why it’s so critical to spend the appropriate amount of time healing. After all, returning to the game too soon can easily lead to reinjury. However, a physical therapist can ensure that your shoulder is ready to withstand the rigors of a full game again. These specialists can also help you strengthen your shoulder and address underlying issues during your recovery. Dealing with such things can help reduce your risk of future injuries.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT for sports-related shoulder injuries

Do you need professional help recovering from a sports-related shoulder injury? At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help you get the high-quality PT you need. 

Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can help you address the symptoms and root causes of your shoulder injury. 

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. 

Contact our team today so we can help you find the most effective physical therapy services for your injury

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