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Sunday, January 16, 2011

The 3 Most Common Injuries in Baseball and How to Prevent Them

The 3 Most Common Injuries in Baseball and How to Prevent Them
By Jim Bain

Baseball injuries are unfortunately an unpleasant fact of life which can't be totally avoided. If there were such a miracle I'm sure Major League Baseball teams paying players millions of dollars to sit on the bench injured would have found it.
However, there are three common injuries in Little League baseball we can look at preventing or at least minimizing the degree of the injury.

Blisters are the number one injury in Little League and are created by the irritation of equipment rubbing against the skin, which causes the first layer of skin to separate from the second layer. The body then creates fluid to fill the gap between the two skin layers in order to protect the injury from further damage.

Proper fitting equipment, the use of powders and anti irritation gels will help prevent the blister, but once the blister has occurred the first issue is to prevent further injury.

If you can't stop the activity your involved in which is creating the blister, place a piece of tape or a band aid over the wound to protect it from further damage. A piece of duct tape works as well or better than a band aid as it seems to stick to the skin better and for longer periods of time.

Depending on the degree of the blister it may heal on its own if left alone. However, if there's oozing pus, extreme pain or signs of infection the wound should be drained with a sterile needle, antibacterial ointment applied and bandaged.

Little league elbow is a soreness of the elbow usually experienced by pitchers who have not yet reached puberty. The growth plates attached to the elbow will be pulled loose creating pain when throwing.

This injury is caused by either throwing too many pitches in a particular span of time or by throwing breaking balls at too young of an age.

Should your player incur this injury, stop all throwing and have him rest the arm. Applying ice 20 minutes an hour for 4 or 5 hours the first day will reduce any swelling.

To treat or prevent this injury, be sure to monitor the amount of pitches a player throws. They should be limited to no more than 100 pitches a week and absolutely no breaking balls are to be attempted.

Sprains and strains round out the top three injuries in little league baseball. Teaching proper fielding and running mechanics is the best method to try and prevent these types of injuries.

If playing on an unfamiliar field, walk the outfield to look for any holes or unleveled ground which could cause a trip or twisting of an ankle.

The degree of the sprain dictates the treatment of the injury. A mild sprain may be treated with a treatment of ice packs rotated in 20 minute intervals for 8 hours. The injured limb should be rested above the waist or heart level in order to reduce swelling as well as wrapping with an elastic ace bandage.

As with all injuries of kids, if in doubt or at the first sign of infection, seek immediate professional medical care.

About the Author
Let Coach Bain teach you more about how to prevent and treat injured players. His site offers coaching tips on pitching, fielding, catching and more at Learn Youth Baseball Coaching.

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