The Top 5 Common Baseball Injuries and How to Minimize Risk
Not only is baseball America's favorite pastime, but it's also one of the classic sports of the summer season. Chances are, you know someone who plays baseball recreationally, and it's also safe to say that he or she experienced some sort of injury, no matter how small, on the field. You may not realize it, but baseball is a rough sport that lends itself to injury. According to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, more than 265,000 baseball and softball injuries were treated in emergency departments nationwide, including over 4,500 that resulted in hospitalization.
The source called out the following as being the top common injuries that baseball players experience on a yearly basis:
- Fractured ankles
- Sprained ankles
- Fractured knees
- Sprained knees
- Facial injuries.
However, your love for baseball doesn't need to cause you physical harm. There are ways to play the game and prepare for it beforehand in a way that reduces your chance of injury. For starters, a physical examination performed by a licensed physician can help detect any health issues that may put you at a greater risk of injury during a game or practice. Most school and city leagues require a note from a doctor explaining that you've gotten an exam and a statement saying that you've been cleared to play.
"Your love for baseball doesn't need to cause you physical harm."
In addition to a physical exam, you should also receive proper sports equipment, including protective padding. Helmets, face shields, shin guards and chest protectors are just some of the padding you should be wearing during games and practices. Doing so can dull the effects of getting hit by a ball, though you should learn effective techniques for dodging them when they're coming your way.
Coaches should also instruct player on the appropriate techniques for throwing, catching and batting. There are ways to perform each activity in a way that's both effective and not so hard on your muscles and joints. When a player is showing signs of fatigue or soreness, he or she should be taken out of the game to rest. Injuries are much more likely to happen when an athlete is feeling exhausted or overworked.
Finally, it's important to always stretch and get your body ready for physical activity. Stretching should always be done as a team, and a warm up and cool down should be included in every game and practice. Doing so can help avoid injury and get the best performance from every player.