Baseball season is here. Below is a list that our physicians compiled to help you and your family through the season safely. The below information is not a substitute to professional medical evaluation or act as diagnosis in the event of an injury. Have fun and be safe!
Pitcher’s elbow– Baseball is a game with a lot of throwing action that puts pressure on the upper body. This condition, an inflammation of the bony joint of the elbow, occurs with repeated hard-slamming throws.
- Stop the activity that causes the symptoms
- Seek immediate medical care
- Ice or cold pack applied to the area to decrease the inflammation
Leg sprains and breaks– Baseball doesn’t just involve the top part of an athlete’s body. Every time a person throws a ball, the lower extremities get into the act. Also, don’t forget those “sliding into base” moves.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory i.e. Ibuprofen, Naprosyn
- Muscle strengthening exercises
- Knee brace for use during exercise
- Ice pack application to area to reduce swelling
Shoulder pull– Another injury of the upper body, shoulder pulls occur from catching high balls, from throwing a ball to base with all you’re worth or from hitting so hard with a bat, it cracks.
- Rest the injured body part from 1-5 days depending on the severity of the injury
- Ice will reduce the swelling, bleeding and pain and should be applied early. Alternatives to ice are frozen peas or frozen corn family pack.
- Anti-inflammatory medication
Concussion– Even softballs can pack a wallop when they’re thrown at top strength. Unfortunately, baseball players don’t wear headgear (caps don’t count). Sometimes baseballs land where they shouldn’t …on vulnerable heads.
- Seek immediate care if child has any of the following symptoms: change in alertness, convulsions, confusion, unequal pupils, unconsciousness
Cracked teeth– Baseball players don’t wear mouthguards either and the ball that misses the top of the head can get the teeth.
- Cold packs or ice cubes placed either inside the mouth directly above the injured tooth, or outside on the cheeks or lips, can reduce pain and swelling before the patient reaches the dentist
Broken jaw– The jaw is exposed to flying baseballs during a game. A ball might hit a child on the outside of the jaw or face forward. Even a mouthguard can’t protect against that.
- Seek medical care if child experiences jaw pain, numbness of lip or chin, unable to open jaw all the way, a cracked tooth or missing teeth, or a cut in the ear canal due to movement backward of the broken jawbone
Black eye– By now, you know the culprit, a hard thrown ball. However, sometimes a baseball bat can be the culprit. Maybe an enthusiastic hitter, running off to first, throws his bat—and, unfortunately, it lands on your child, who just happens to be sitting in the bleachers or waiting for his turn at bat.
- Ice to the site of injury for the first 3 days can decrease the amount of swelling.
TO make certain there is no injury to the eye itself several simple maneuver can be done:
- Hold 1 finger in front of the individual and ask “How many fingers do you see”? The answer should be 1.
- Ask the individual to follow your finger (one only) by only moving his/her eyes and not his/her head. Move the finger in front of the eye from left to right (or right to left) toward the ears then up and down (or down to up) toward the forehead and chin.
- If the both eyes move in the same and equal distance in all directions, the probability of an eye injury is small.
- If there is any discrepancy in the eye movement, the individual should be seen by a medical professional in an emergency room.
Heat prostration– When an inning lasts forever in the hot sun, the pitcher can begin to look red and flushed almost like the color of Gatorade.
- Get the ill person out of the sun
- Replace the body’s fluids and salt by having the person drink lots of water, Gatorade, decaffeinated iced tea or juice
- Cool the person’s body with fans, cool towels, or sprays
Foot injury– Sneakers are not always the best shoe to protect toes from getting stubbed or broken. Making a run to a base or getting hit in the foot from a bat or a ball is all it takes.
- Adequate warm ups before sports participation
- Rest of the injured extremity
- Proper athletic shoes for the designated sport
- RICE and ice/cold to the site to decrease inflammation
- Orthotic shoe inserts
Back injury– Picking up foul balls, bending to catch a low-flying ball, jumping at an angle to get a curving ball- all of these cause back injury.
- Cold therapy for a short period (up to 48 h) should be applied to the affected area
- Sports activities, particularly those involving weight lifting and extreme movement of the spine, should be avoided as long as the patient’s pain persists