Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) Injury
The ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injury is a common injury to baseball pitchers. This is because the Ulnar collateral ligament acts as a stabilizer for the elbow, thereby stopping the joint from bending sideways, making the area stressed after repetitive throwings. An ulnar collateral ligament injury can cause tenderness and pain on the inner part of the elbow. It also stiffens the elbow, making it hard to straighten the arm. The UCL injury also affects the hands’ grip strength and causes numbness in the ring or little finger. You can easily identify this injury if you feel pain on your elbow’s inner side if you find it hard to straighten your arm, or feel numbness in your ring or little finger.
Ulnar collateral ligament injury is mostly treated using nonsurgical methods; however, if the instability of the elbows continues, the need for surgery will arise.
Rotator Cuff Tears Injury
Rotator cuff tears are another common injury that’s popular among baseball players, especially pitchers. A rotator cuff is a network of four muscles that are earlier tendons but come together to form a covering around the head of the upper arm bone. Repetitious shoulder motions like throwing and pitching can cause the tendons to wear over time, leading to tearing as time goes on.
Tearing of the rotator cuff causes pain and weakness in the shoulders, especially when you are lying down. The arm also feels painful when you lift it or lower it. A crackling sensation may be felt when moving the arm. You can quickly identify a rotator cuff tear when you feel pain and weakness on the shoulder after repetitive shoulder motions in Baseball.
In most cases, rotator cuff tear is treated using nonsurgical methods, but surgery may be needed to repair and restore full strength within the shoulder.
Spondylolysis is another injury commonly sustained by baseball players. Swinging and pitching of a baseball bat can cause pressure on the back. If the pressure is much, a fracture can occur in the vertebrae; this fracture is known as Spondylolysis. This medical condition often feels like muscle strain because the pain keeps spreading across the lower back. Spondylolysis is a serious condition that has to be treated quickly else it will progress into a more critical condition known as spondylolisthesis. When it becomes spondylolisthesis, the fractured vertebrae slide out of the press and begin to affect nearby nerves. Spondylolisthesis causes back spasms, tightens the back, and affects the muscles.
Spondylolysis is mostly treated using anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapies, and rest. However, if the vertebra continues to slide and affect nearby muscles, the need for spinal fusion surgery may arise to stabilize the spine.
Knee Injuries (Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and Medial collateral ligament (MCL)
The anterior cruciate ligament and the medial collateral ligament are two ligaments that help in stabilizing the knee. ACL and MCL injuries mostly occur during the run from base to base, especially when you abruptly stop running or twist the knee with your foot planted.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the medial collateral ligament(MCL) cause severe, abrupt pain and a popping sensation when the injury occurs. The joints also swell up and feel loose, and severe pain can be felt when the knee is put down. Knee injuries caused by Baseball can be easily identified by the feeling of a popping sensation and sharp severe pain. These injuries can mostly be treated with nonsurgical methods; however, if the anterior cruciate ligament and the medial collateral ligament are torn, surgery may be needed to rebuild the torn ligaments.
Muscle Strains and Sprains
The most common sports injuries are strains and sprain, mostly caused by overuse. In Baseball, strains and sprains are common in the back, arm, and leg. The ligaments are mostly overstretched, while in some cases, the muscles and ligaments may be partially torn.
Symptoms of muscle strains and sprains include muscle spasms, muscle weakness, and pain, though the symptoms depend greatly on the severity of the injury. Sometimes, Bruising, inflammation, and swelling may occur in the affected area. In most cases, muscle strains and sprains require nonsurgical treatments except if the ligament is torn. Sprains and strains can be treated using ice, rest, compression, or elevation.
The injuries mentioned above are the most common types of baseball injuries; In contrast, some of their injuries like strain and strain can be treated at home, others like knee injuries and Ultra collateral ligament [UCL] injury might require meeting a doctor, especially if it becomes critical. These injuries can be prevented by warming up properly before throwing and engaging in baseball conditioning and strength programs. Players should also avoid year-round playing to give their body time and chance to recover.