Returning to Baseball After Some Time Off
Are you getting excited to get back to Baseball after some time off? Returning to baseball and other throwing sports after some time off can be a very exciting thing. Getting on the field, seeing your teammates, and the thrill of competition are all things to look forward to! However, if you have taken time off and not kept up with your training and throwing you could be setting yourself up for injury and pain.
Overhead sports, especially throwing, put high levels of stress on the shoulder joints, even for muscular athletes and it and can lead to overuse injuries. The shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in the body, and therefore it is also has the potential to be the most unstable joint in the body. In order to prevent overuse injuries and those injuries caused by instability in the shoulder, a good throwing program and strengthening program are critical for long term success in overhead sports.
A proper throwing program consists of progressive overload in order to gradually strengthen the shoulder to allow for increased throwing capacity and endurance. It is important that a good program should incorporate long tossing to help build arm strength and velocity. Gradually working in longer bullpen sessions will help to build pitching endurance to help pitchers withstand longer outings. Once games and tournaments resume, pitching and overall loads through the throwing arm should be monitored and initially limited. After a solid base of shoulder and arm strength are built up, pitchers and throwers may steadily increase pitch counts and overall throwing loads.
Safely returning to baseball and other throwing sports while minimizing injury does not have to be a time consuming process. Making sure you are going through a proper warm up prior to throwing, consistently completing a strengthening program focused on rotator cuff strength and maintaining mobility with stretching after throwing are all essential for optimizing on field performance and reducing risk of injury. The “Thrower’s Ten Exercises” are a good place to start and the Physical Therapy team at Panorama Orthopedics & Spine Center can work with players to step them through this program. Taking care of your arm is a crucial part of throwing and overhead sports and should be a priority for athletes to prevent injuries and perform at their highest levels.