What Every Baseball Player Should Know About the Rotator Cuff Before the Season Starts

What Every Baseball Player Should Know About the Rotator Cuff Before the Season Starts

A rotator cuff injury can take you off the mound for much, if not all, of the season. The repetitive throwing that you do in baseball is a huge risk factor for this common shoulder injury.

Protect yourself from damaging the rotator cuff with these smart tips from our expert orthopedic team at Maryland Orthopedic Specialists in Bethesda and Germantown, Maryland.

About the rotator cuff

Your rotator cuff surrounds each of your shoulder joints. It’s made up of four tendons and muscles that keep the head of your upper arm bone firmly set in your shoulder socket. The rotator cuff is responsible for a lot of the joint’s mobility as it assists raising and rotation of the arm.

The types of injuries that tend to affect baseball players and their rotator cuffs are:

You can often avoid these injuries with smart training and play strategies.

Protect your rotator cuff: Warm up and remember to rest

Always warm your shoulder up before practice or play. Warm tissues are more mobile and are less likely to experience damage. 

Overuse of the rotator cuff is a primary cause of injuries. These injuries are largely preventable if you give yourself enough rest between training sessions and games.

Protect your rotator cuff: Strength train

Strength training plays a huge role in preventing rotator cuff injuries. Talk to our experts about how to target both the large and small muscles of the shoulder to strengthen the rotator cuff. 

As your muscles become stronger, they’re less vulnerable to irritation and injury. Their stamina improves, too, as does your throwing prowess.

Learn to identify symptoms early

If you notice any signs of irritation to your rotator cuff, it’s a signal to rest and pull back, not push through. A few days of rest can reduce inflammation and prevent escalation that could lead to a more serious injury. 

Symptoms of rotator cuff injuries include:

You become more vulnerable to rotator cuff issues as you age, but anyone can experience a rotator cuff injury at any age, particularly if they participate in repetitive activities like throwing a baseball. 

If you do experience a rotator cuff injury

If you notice serious pain in your shoulder, reach out to our office for a definitive diagnosis. We can offer immobilization devices, physical therapy, and pain management medications and injections. We will likely recommend rest, ice, and time off from practice and games. 

If you end up tearing a tendon, you may require arthroscopic surgical repair. During this procedure, we make several tiny incisions in the area of the joint and use a thin device affixed with a camera and light to see inside. We then use small tools to make any necessary repairs. 

Although this is a minimally invasive shoulder surgery and recovery is quicker than with conventional open surgery, you’ll still need several weeks of recovery and rehabilitation before you can use your shoulder again. 

For support for your rotator cuff health and repair, trust our experts at Maryland Orthopedic Specialists. Call our Bethesda or Germantown, Maryland, office or set up an appointment here.

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