Professional baseball players can suffer severe shoulder injuries. Younger players may not be able to get the game time and experience they need in order to progress and climb up the ranks. Shoulder injuries can endanger a player’s career.
Shoulder injuries are not only a concern for professional baseball players. Recreational baseball players as well as children and teens can also suffer from shoulder injuries.
A 2002 study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found that nearly half of youth pitchers reported experiencing elbow or shoulder pain at least once during the entire season.
If not addressed, these issues can become more serious over time, affecting youth’s ability to participate in sports and everyday activities.
Both parents and young players need to be aware of the common causes of shoulder problems in young players. They also need to know how to manage them so that they can continue to play and improve their sport.
Causes Often Overloooked
These are common shoulder problems that young players may experience, but parents and coaches often overlook them.
- Early specialization Many children today only have one sport in their youth. They are forced to do the same moves over and over again by only being able to play one sport. Although this might sound like it will help kids excel at their sport, the reverse is true. Children who are too focused on one sport early in life can be prevented from experiencing the full range of athletic movements and qualities that they require. This also leads to injuries. It is essential to build the foundation necessary for athleticism as children age.
- Overtraining It is becoming more common for children to play one sport throughout the year, without taking much time off. Many kids will be involved in off-season tournaments and summer camps in addition to their regular season. They are performing the same sports movements all year, so their shoulders and arms don’t get rest. Children need to take a break from sports in order to properly recover. It is as crucial for kids to have adequate recovery as it is for quality training.
- Excessive technology use:Kids can access all kinds of technology, including tablets, smartphones, and game systems, these days. Their posture can be worsened if they spend too much time on these devices. Their heads and shoulders move forward, while their head moves forward. They can be in poor posture before they even begin to move, which can cause them to have a harder time standing, walking, and exercising.
How to keep your shoulders healthy and pain-free
There are some things that young baseball players can do with their parents to ensure that they have a healthy shoulder and no pain so that they can enjoy the sport and continue to improve.
- Children should be exposed to a variety of activities It is vital that children develop foundational skills in athletics while they are young. These skills include balance, handeye coordination, running over various distances and intensities and agility. These skills don’t have to be learned through organized sports. Play time can also be very important as it can expose children to many different movements and skills. Swimming is another excellent activity for children. It not only gives them a skill that can save their lives, but also opens up possibilities for rehabilitating a sports injury later on in life. It’s amazing to see how many professional athletes, including adult athletes, don’t know how swim. This restricts our options for recovery.
- Be aware of your posture Encourage your children to sit straight. All of us have fond memories of our grandparents or parents telling us to stand straight. They were correct! Proper posture is crucial for the health of your shoulders and head. Poor posture can cause stress to the neck and shoulder muscles. Good posture is essential for athletic performance.
- Strengthen the shoulder muscles. Young baseball players can start by strengthening their core muscles, rotator cuff muscles, and scapular muscles. These muscles are strengthened to help them cope with the stress of pitching.