Contact sports and similar activities that place regular stress on parts of the spine may result in some type of wear and tear over time. Compared to high-impact sports such as football and soccer, baseball is relatively safe; although the repetitive motions associated with pitching and batting can contribute to spondylosis, the general term for degeneration of the spine.
Often affecting players new to the game, poor form while pitching and batting can place added pressure on facet joints and other vulnerable parts of the spine. According to experienced spine surgeons in Beverly Hills, poor mechanics can be especially problematic for younger players since the spine is still developing and more susceptible to injury.
Twisting and Turning
The act of swinging a bat requires the body to twist and turn with some degree of force, even when proper form is followed. Muscles that support the spine can tear or become inflamed from such motions and contribute to disc or bone wear or injury. Symptoms associated with spondylosis include:
- Persistent neck and shoulder pain
- Pain that becomes progressively worse
- Back pain associated with movement
- Difficulty walking or standing
By learning to recognize possible signs of spondylosis, which often weakens a thin piece of bone called the interarticularis that’s located between each vertebra, players can reduce the risk of experiencing long-term back pain. Unless there is a fracture or serious structural problem caused by the degeneration, patients are likely to get relief from:
- Applying heat or ice
- Taking anti-inflammatory medications
- Resting for a day or two
- Temporarily modifying activities
As with any type of sport involving repetitious motions, baseball players are encouraged to get regular exercise between games and practice proper form. Stretching before pitching or batting can also help keep muscles supporting the spine relaxed. Any instances of unusual or lingering pain should be evaluated by a board-certified orthopedic physician as soon as possible.
Interested in learning more about treating back pain? Reach out to Dr. Hyun Bae and his team of medical professionals at The Spine Institute. Dr. Bae is a conservative spine surgeon who can help you determine the best option for alleviating chronic pain. Give us a call today at (310) 828-7757 and schedule your in-person consultation.