If you are an elite athlete who performs at a competitive level, you should visit your orthopedist regularly to avoid injury.
Repetitive motions can cause overuse injuries in joints and lead to permanent damage. A new study on college baseball players finds that repetitive overhead throwing can cause shoulder overuse injuries and season-ending rotator cuff damage.
What Is the Rotator Cuff?
A rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that control the movement of the shoulder. Throwing overhead can cause the rotator cuff tendons to compress through the joint and eventually cause shoulder pain. This condition can advance to acute tendonitis.
Baseball Players Are Prone to Rotator Cuff Injuries
Baseball is a physically demanding sport and can cause muscle strains, shoulder instability, labral tears, thrower’s elbow and rotator cuff injuries.
Daniel A. Charen, MD, a resident in the department of orthopedic surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, examined shoulder injury data from male baseball players using the NCAA Injury Surveillance Program. Of the 138 shoulder injuries, 51.4% occurred during practice. Almost half of the injuries included damage to the rotator cuff.
The study also found:
- 100% of players had rotator cuff tendonitis
- 5% had SLAP (superior labrum from anterior to posterior) tears
- 70% of players had biceps tendinitis
- 67% of players with rotator cuff tears had a mechanism of injury of pitching or throwing
Physicians who treat baseball players and other throwing athletes must understand the role that throwing volume, adaptive changes and internal impingement play in overuse injuries.
Christopher S. Ahmad is the Head Team Physician for the New York Yankees and the Rockland Boulders and a member of the Major League Baseball Team Physicians Association. In an interview with Orthopedics Today, he said doctors and trainers must pay attention to core muscles and strength in the throwing athlete. Regular care and follow-up are the keys for safe play (Healio).
Schedule Your Orthopedic Surgery Before Deductible Resets
Are you experiencing chronic shoulder pain? Shoulder injuries are not limited to athletes. Make an appointment with your orthopedist to discuss your shoulder or joint pain. You may need treatment or even a surgical procedure to find relief.
The end of the year is approaching, so it would be best to schedule a procedure before the year-end. Now is a good time to contact your insurance company to ask if you have met your deductible. If you have already met your deductible, your procedure may be more affordable or even fully covered.