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Your Baseball Questions, Answered!
Baseball players, check out this Q&A with JJ DeAndressi, PTA from our Armonk location for information about common baseball injuries, as well as some tips & tricks to improve performance.
How can I increase my pitching speed?
Pitching speed always starts with the legs and ends with the rotator cuff musculature. Increasing your strength/power in your legs and protecting your shoulder by strengthening your rotator cuff is key for success. A trained professional can also teach a player certain drills that can greatly improve velocity of pitches thrown.
How can I keep my pitching arm in shape?
Rotator cuff exercises are a MUST for any baseball player and in my opinion should at the very least be a part of every player’s warm up routine (or better yet the primary muscle group to work out on a particular day). Baseball players should consistently perform TheraBand exercises pre-practice/game time to neurologically “turn on” this particular muscle group before throwing.
What are the best exercises I can do to prevent shoulder, back, and chest pain after pitching?
Many postural corrective exercises just so happen to be excellent in preventing pain/discomfort in not only pitchers but all baseball players. Examples of exercises would include shoulder external rotation, horizontal abduction, rows, pulldowns, pectoralis stretching, and latissimus dorsi stretching. Mobility drills/exercises for the shoulder are also excellent for reducing shoulder injuries.
After shoulder surgery, am I at a higher risk for another injury?
There are many different types of shoulder surgeries but the odds of a player between the childhood to young adult ages having one that would diminish their ability to continue playing baseball are very minimal. Surgery to a player’s shoulder would likely improve their ability to play baseball pain-free, which would have not been the case pre-surgery.
What is an Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) Injury and how can PT help?
UCL injuries happen to be prominent in pitchers due to the excessive external rotation range of motion/overhead movements in the throwing shoulder that players develop over time playing/practicing baseball. The UCL helps stabilize the shoulder and hold structures together in the elbow. PT can greatly help any UCL injury whether it’s a full tear or small sprain through interventions that can reduce pain, increase stability in the involved shoulder, increase pain free range of motion of the involved shoulder, and improve blood flow to the injured area for accelerated healing to get the player back on the field quickly and in the safest way possible.
If pain or injury are keeping you out of the game, give your local ACCESS PT office a call. We’d love to help!