KSFY broadcast the American Association All Star Game in Sioux Falls on July 17th. A lot of the guys playing have probably been playing a lot of years and for the pitchers especially that's a lot of wear and tear on the arm, elbow and shoulder. Preventing Tommy John Surgery is our Avera Medical Minute.
If you are a baseball fan there is nothing better than hearing the crack of the bat. If you are pitcher there is nothing better than throwing heat down the pipe and hearing the smack of the ball in the glove. Most likely after years of throwing that fast ball it will lead to shoulder and elbow injuries. Dr. Keith Baumgarten specializes in sports medicine and shoulder surgery at the Orthopedic Institute.
Dr.Baumgarten says, "Most baseball injuries are overuse injuries and with proper training, strengthening, stretching, the right use of mechanics and rest, you can improve a lot of these syndromes before they become chronic."
Dr. Baumgarten says in this area kids don't prepare for the season like they should. "Starting a pre-season conditioning routine is essential. Normally I have pitchers do an interval throwing program. They should start in the outfield and do a long toss and work their way to the mound and then throw competitively, "He says. He also recommends only pitching in one league at a time and limit the number of games a week.
Dr Baumgarten says, "What pitches they throw growing up makes a difference too. Normally you don't have anyone under the age of 15 throw a breaking ball which is also known as the curve ball or a slider. We like them to start off with a fast ball. Then when they want to progress to another pitch we have them do a change up because it doesn't stress the shoulder or elbow like the curve ball or slider."
Dr. Baumgarten says if your child is a pitcher and experiences pain while throwing, it's not normal and should get checked out.
For more information call 877-at-AVERA or go to www.ortho-i.com