Arm Doctor’s Top 12 Tips to Prevent Baseball Arm Injuries (Part 1)
As summer winds down, kids and teens of all ages are getting in as much fun as they can before school starts. And there are few cities in America where baseball is a more popular pastime than Detroit! Our beloved Tigers are currently fourth in the AL’s Central Division, and the Little League World Series is only a few weeks away!
As the Detroit Area’s Leading Arm Injury Doctor, Dr. Rehman, would like to provide some helpful tips to avoid arm injury the next time your child decides to take themselves out to the ball game.
In this three part article, top Detroit area arm doctor, Dr. Rehman provides twelve tips for preventing arm injuries in children and teen baseball players.
To avoid arm injury, don’t let your child pitch when tired.
Fatigue is one of the most prominent culprits of sports-related arm injury. As fatigue, like pain, is a completely subjective warning sign of overuse injury, knowing exactly when to stop will fluctuate from person to person. And since a child having a ball out on the diamond isn’t likely to announce that they’re getting tired, it’s up to the adults to use their best judgement to spot fatigue and tell their little slugger you’re out!
To avoid arm injury, don’t let your child play year-round.
According to research, youth baseball pitchers who, for a period of 8 months a year or more, have pitched competitively have a chance five times greater of needing arm surgery than children who take at least four months off from pitching. This claim is supported by Detroit area arm doctors.
Arm doctors suggest following pitch count limits and rest periods.
There are strict limits within Little League Baseball as to how many pitches an athlete can throw. These limits depend on the child’s age and put in place mandatory periods of rest between an athlete’s pitching appearances.
While USA Baseball follows the advice of arm injury doctors that pitch limits are important, they do not require them, and teams frequently do not (either deliberately or as a result of a lack of knowledge) follow such recommendations.
Currently, there are no pitch limits in high school baseball, and making sure high school athletes do not exceed a healthy pitch limit can become particularly challenging when they play for multiple teams. As coaches between different teams can be guilty of not communicating with one another, it is the responsibility of the parents of youth baseball pitchers to keep track of their children’s pitch counts and make sure they rest for appropriate periods of time.
Arm doctors suggest avoiding multiple teams or overlapping seasons
In the modern era, it has become increasingly common for youth baseball players to play for more than one team. While such a practice may provide them with greater chances to hone their skills as an athlete, and while coaches or league rules may limit the their amount of pitching, playing for more than one team with overlapping seasons puts your child at a greater risk of exceeding pitch limits (or ASMI’s recommended limit of 100 innings).
To avoid injury, arm doctors urge parents to keep track of their child’s pitch counts and days off. Parents should also make sure coaches do not push their child to exceed such limits.
Arm doctors agree that pitching on multiple teams with overlapping seasons should be avoided by young pitchers and support the enforcement of all teams requiring periods of rest.
If you or your child are suffering from a baseball injury, or any pain in your fingers, wrist, elbow or arm, contact board certified Detroit area hand surgeon Doctor Rehman for a comprehensive evaluation and consultation. Your hands and arms are vitally important to everything you do. Rapid detection, diagnosis, and treatment is the most effective way to ensure you heal completely, and do not suffer long term consequences.
We offer the latest advancements and techniques in hand and arm physical therapy, and can put a treatment and injury-prevention plan in place for your family’s student athletes.