Batter up! Baseball season is officially here, which means it’s time for fastballs, home runs, and… shoulder injuries.
While they are an unfortunate part of the game, shoulder injuries are largely preventable. During the offseason, baseball players should follow a weight training program which emphasises building the supporting muscles in the shoulder. This will not only help prevent injuries, but it can also improve throwing velocity as well.
Another key component of injury prevention is stretching, which improves flexibility and range of motion in the shoulder joint. The great thing about stretching is that it can be done anywhere, anytime. There are a variety of static and dynamic stretches for the shoulder, but these three are among the best:
- Arm circles. Hold your arms up to your sides and make small, circular motions with your fists. Gradually increase the size of these circles until they are as big as possible. Do this for 20 seconds, stop, then repeat with your arms circling in the opposite direction.
- Cross body stretch. Bring your right arm across your body, holding your right elbow with your left hand. Gently push your arm across your chest until you feel a stretch in the back of your shoulder. Hold for 20 seconds, then repeat with the opposite arm.
- Chest stretch. Standing in a doorway, place your right hand, forearm, and elbow along the door frame. Your elbow should be at shoulder height, making a 90 degree angle with your body. Take a small step forward with your left leg, lean into the wall, and rotate your body to the left. You should feel a stretch in the chest and shoulder muscles. Hold this position for 20 seconds, then repeat for the opposite side.
If you live in Fairfield County and suffer from shoulder pain or discomfort, help is available from the sports medicine physicians at OSG. As southern Connecticut’s largest and most experienced orthopedic practice, our team of shoulder specialists can diagnose and treat a variety of injuries. Click here to request an appointment online, or call (203) 337-2600.