Physical Therapy for Baseball Injuries

baseball injuries

Baseball is a favorite American pastime, and baseball players train daily to ensure they are playing at the top of their game. Unfortunately, injuries for baseball players can leave them sitting on the bench for weeks.

Physical therapy can help reduce the risk of some of the most common injuries associated with baseball, including shoulder and elbow injuries and knee injuries. 

Below, we will discuss some baseball injuries that can occur due to overuse, inadequate training, poor recovery, and rest techniques that all players need to be aware of and how to mitigate the risk of injury.

Most Common Baseball Injuries

Certain types of injuries are common, and most players understand the toll that repetitive motion and overuse can take on the shoulders, elbow, and hamstrings.

Shoulder Injuries in Baseball

Bicep Tendinopathy

Bicep Tendinopathy is long-term and indicates information in irritation at the biceps tendon located at the front of the shoulder. Often, when a player has pain in this area, it can also indicate that something else is going on in the shoulder, such as instability in the shoulder, the labrum, or a rotator cuff issue, which is sometimes the root issue.

When this happens, generally, the biceps tendon compensates for an undiagnosed underlying injury. Please work with your physical therapist to help identify the root problem so they can help you address the damage and alleviate the pain.

Labral Tears

Laberal tears affect the structure of the shoulder, causing weakness, loss of power, instability, and pain. The labrum helps to keep the shoulder socket tight, and if a player has a labral tear, they generally have a deep ache in the shoulder at the “cocking phase.”

You may be able to manage some injuries through rest and physical therapy. Other cases may require orthopedic surgery.

Shoulder Instability

Shoulder instability occurs in baseball players due to excessive arm rotation, which is required when throwing a ball. While excessive rotation is necessary as it gives throwers the ability to throw fast and hard, it also can lead to injury.

Players need to be solid and stable while throwing. Inadequate training generally leads to losing power, weakness, and precision when throwing in pain. Physical therapy can ensure baseball athletes understand and implement exercises during their workout to maintain stability and strength. 

Elbow Injuries in Baseball

Baseball players commonly have elbow injuries, especially to the joint, due to the force necessary to throw hard and fast. Injuries to the elbow include elbow tendinopathy or ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injuries that generally happen during the “acceleration phase.”

Typically, rest is necessary, and a physical therapist can help to identify weaknesses or ways to alter mechanics at other joints, such as the hips, spine, or shoulder, to help relieve the pain. If your UCL is torn, it may require surgery to be repaired.

Knee Injuries in Baseball

The most common type of knee injury in baseball usually involves the MCL and ACL ligaments that help stabilize the knee. When those ligaments get injured, the player or sometimes you’re allowed a snapping sensation or pop if it tears, which leads to difficulty walking in significant pain.

Physical Therapy for Baseball Players and Injuries

Physical therapy is an exceptional tool that is a highly effective treatment for baseball injuries. It helps players return to optimal playing conditions and the sport they love as safely and quickly as possible. Your physical therapist will be able to address your needs to help you navigate your recovery process and ensure that you improve your peak performance level and stay strong and healthy.

Physical therapy treatment to help with recovery from baseball injuries may include the following:

  • Strengthening exercises to help stabilize and strengthen the core, legs, shoulders, muscles, and throwing arm help to improve imbalances and muscle weakness that may be contributing to injury and dysfunction
  • Stretching exercise to ensure that the shoulder joint capsule and effective soft tissues heal properly
  • Education and instruction to help improve The player’s swing and pitch mechanics to decrease stress on the elbows and shoulders
  • Dry needling can help reduce inflammation, pain, and swelling
  • Massage can help to relax muscles, reduce pain and swelling, and promote healing
  • Cupping aids with inflammation,  pain, digestive issues, and other medical issues            
  • Joint manipulation helps to improve the range of motion and circulation, reduce inflammation and pain                         

Injury Prevention For Baseball Players

Strength training, increasing endurance, and stretching are vital for baseball players and will help to reduce the risk of injury. An experienced physical therapist knowledgeable about baseball can also help improve the body mechanics of your muscles and joints that may be causing pain, tension, or excessive force in a region.

Essential components to help mitigate the risk of throwing injuries include the following:

  • Make sure you take adequate rest
  • Practicing a proper cool-down and warm-up routine
  • Staying within pitching recommendations
  • Incorpórate building strength and skills for different body regions during off-season time

How Physical Therapy Helps Baseball Players

Physical therapists benefit baseball players and other athletes by creating a customized plan to strengthen muscles, improve range of motion and proper technique, and reduce the risk of injury to help you meet your short and long-term goals. 

Physical therapy can significantly reduce the time you are out of the game and ensure you can reach your peak performance level when you play.

Let Upslope Physical Therapy Help You Reach Your Peak Performance and Be at the Top of Your Game!

Baseball players, other athletes, and active adults benefit immensely from physical therapy. Whether you have a baseball injury, want to strengthen your muscles, or improve your range of motion and performance, physical therapy can help you achieve your goals.

UpSlope Physical Therapy will help you reach and surpass your goals, reclaim your active lifestyle, and achieve your full potential. Our expert physical therapist will work with you to identify your needs and objectives and create a personalized treatment plan to get you back on the field, pain-free, stronger, and ready to play.

Request an appointment today and take the next step to heal your injuries, have a more active life, and become a better athlete by using the fantastic transformational tools that physical therapy can provide.

author avatar
Brady Hoffmann
As an active individual, staying healthy and injury-free is important to you. You make time for your workouts and training because it helps you focus, spend time with yourself, and work toward your goals.

Brady Hoffmann DPT, ATC

Owner and Founder of UpSlope PT

We Help Athletes and Active Adults Quickly Recover From Pain Or Injury So They Can Stay Active And Get Back To What They Love To Do.