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<> Your Athletic Trainers Corner, March 2007 -- Get ready for baseball!
March 24, 2007

In This Issue...

Baseball is here - is your shoulder ready?

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Get your shoulder ready for baseball...

It is almost here...that time of year when everything seems just a little more American. When the evening air is alive with the crack of a bat, and the thrill of a home run. From squeeze plays to double plays, baseball season is upon us.

Ok, maybe there are a few more days until the season starts, but this time of year just gets me into the "swing" of things. I love baseball...the winter months usually leave a lot for me to desire in the way of sports. But, that is just my opinion, take it for what it is worth.

With the weather warming up, and that glove just calling your name, it is time to think about your shoulder...did you end your summer with aches and pains? If you did, now is the perfect time to concentrate on improving your chances of being pain free this year. Just a few minutes a day can impact how much joy you can get with the summer softball league...who wants to deal with an achey shoulder?

Slow and steady wins the race...

As much as you may want to just go out and start throwing, make sure that you go through a proper warm up before you let the heaters fly. A light jog around the field, or the block, is a simple way to get your body ready for throwing. Just long enough to break a light sweat, 5 minutes or so should do the trick.

Then of course, throw in a little stretching. The rotator cuff, especially the posterior cuff, is an important little muscle. It likes to be stretched before being worked, and it will pay off in less pain after you are finished. To stretch the posterior rotator cuff, put your hand on your elbow, and pull your throwing arm across your chest. (try to bring your elbow as close to your opposite shoulder as you can) You should feel a stretch in the back of your shoulder. While this is a good stretch for the posterior muscles, it isn't the only one that is beneficial.

Stretch the chest muscles and front shoulder muscles by standing in a corner, arms at shoulder level, elbows bent to 90 degrees. Place your forearms on each side wall, and then lean into the corner until you feel a stretch across the front of your chest. This stretches the pectoralis major, without placing stress on the shoulder capsule. Make sure to keep an upright posture, and your weight centered over your feet. The higher your arms are on the wall, the more of a stretch you should feel.

After a good warm up and stretch, let 'er rip...

As you start your first few throwing sessions, it is important not to overdo it. Begin with about 25 soft tosses with a partner to warm up...20-30 feet is an appropriate distance. After you are warm, work back to 60-90 feet and focus on proper mechanics.

Soreness after the first workout is pretty common, but if you gradually increase your distance, number of throws, and intensity over 1-2 weeks, you should not develop any kind of overuse soreness.

Keeping up with the stretching and proper warm up will keep you in the game longer, and you will have fewer aches and pains throughout the season. And most of all, have truly is America's Favorite Pastime.

More about shoulder injury

Coming Soon to Sports Injury Info

As the weather warms up, we are planning on a major overhaul on the SII website. New articles on stretching, injury prevention, strenthening exercises, and much much more. And as always, we welcome comments and suggestions for content.

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