Though the game is enjoyable to play, baseball can also be hard on the spine, shoulders, elbows, and knees. Most baseball-related aches and pains go away with some basic home remedies or over-the-counter meds. However, some may be more serious and require back surgery. Prevent serious injuries by keeping these tips in mind as you step up to bat or wind up your arm to make a pitch.
1. Stretch and Warm Up Before Playing
Even if you’re just doing some practice prior to a game, failing to warm up first increases your odds of straining or spraining muscles and other soft tissues. Pre-game warm-ups may include:
- Jumping jacks
- Hamstring stretches
- Jogging in place or light running
2. Make Sure the Equipment Fits
Whether it’s shin guards, baseball shoes, or helmets, baseball equipment that doesn’t fit properly isn’t going to offer sufficient protection or support. This lack of support increases the risk of injury, as does not wearing the equipment properly.
3. Check the Field for Hazards and Obstacles
Before starting a game, check the field for any holes or other problems with the terrain that may result in an injury. If possible, switch to breakaway bases that move when a player has a hard slide to prevent collisions with a rigid surface.
4. Practice Proper Form
Whatever position you play, pay attention to form and technique. For pitchers, this means knowing when to take a break if arm or shoulder pain becomes persistent. As a general rule, players under age 10 shouldn’t slide until they reach an age when they can do so safely. All players should refrain from blocking bases or runners without having the ball.
5. Explore Other Sports
Common sports-related injuries involve overuse of certain muscles or joints. Minimize this risk by taking a break from the game after the season has passed. Instead, explore other forms of exercise and different sports that work other muscle groups.
If you have a back or neck injury due to playing baseball or another sport, reach out to Dr. Bae and his team of expert surgeons to determine the best plan for treatment. We specialize in minimally invasive spine procedures such as the laminectomy and kyphoplasty surgery Beverly Hills residents sometimes receive. Contact The Spine Institute today at 310-828-7757 to schedule an appointment.