School is out, temperatures are rising and across the state, the sound of cleats and bat bags hitting the pavement fill ballpark parking lots. Summer is the time for baseball and softball in Oklahoma. The Orthopaedic Center’s Dr. Darnell Blackmon shares tips for athletes to stay injury free this summer season.
What are common injuries you see resulting from baseball and softball?
Common injuries that occur from baseball and softball injuries include ankle sprains, stress fractures and tendonitis in the foot and ankle. In the knee, there are also sprains that can occur, as well as meniscus tears, ACL tears and hamstring strains. In the shoulder, it is common to develop shoulder instability, especially in high volume pitchers. Pitchers may also develop elbow sprains when pitching too much. In those kids with an open growth plate, there can also be injuries to the growth plate from overuse.
How can athletes help prevent these injuries?
Athletes can help to prevent these injuries by conditioning in the off season, as well as maintaining conditioning throughout the season by stretching and warming up prior to the start of games or practices.
Summer tournaments can last over several days, with more than one game a day. How can players prevent injury from overuse?
When considering high volume times during the season such as tournaments or multiple games in a day, athletes must hydrate very well and stretch several times throughout the day. Bracing of ankles during these times may help as muscles may fatigue after prolonged activity.
Following an injury, when is it safe to return to the field for play?
If injuries do occur, it is usually safe to return to play after pain has subsided and there is no limp in the injured extremity. This may be after some rehabilitation has been instituted.
What type of rehabilitation do you typically recommend for players who have suffered ankle or knee injuries?
Rehabilitation is injury specific and frequently includes range of motion, strengthening, proprioception (balance) training, as well as pain and swelling control. Bracing or taping may also be necessary for short periods of time.
Dr. Blackmon will host a free seminar June 27 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Southern Hills (formerly Hilton) discussing ankle pain and arthritis. Dr. Blackmon will present information on effective non-surgical and surgical treatment options, the latest in technology advances and answer your questions. To RSVP by June 24, please call 918.579.6060 (ext. 1) or online at HillcrestSouth.com.