Injury Prevention in Baseball: from Youth to the Pros
Purpose of Review
This review examines recent literature on injury epidemiology and prevention in the sport of baseball from youth to professional levels.
Overuse is the predominant mechanism of injury in youth baseball players. Newer stretching and exercise protocols may help prevent these injuries. At the professional level, however, overuse has not been proven to correlate with increased injury incidence, but pitch counts are still monitored. There continues to be a rise in operations performed for baseball-related injuries, including ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction, particularly in younger athletes. As the level of play increases, there is significant loss of participation due to injuries, such as the UCL in the upper extremity and the hamstrings in the lower extremity.
Baseball is a widely popular sport, which has led to a focus on injury epidemiology and prevention. While the majority of research regarding baseball injuries focuses on pitchers, fielders and catchers are also at risk. In an attempt to decrease non-contact injuries in the upper and lower extremities, stretching and strengthening exercises are vitally important. Because injury profiles demonstrate significant variability from youth to professional baseball, unique prevention strategies are likely necessary at each level. More research is needed to develop and validate appropriately targeted injury prevention programs.
KeywordsBaseball injuries Injury prevention Ulnar collateral ligament Overuse Professional Youth
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance
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