04:01 AM

How to prevent injuries in youth baseball

The Palm Beach Post’s “Ask the Expert” column features James B. Carr II, MD, sports medicine surgeon at HSS Florida, discussing how to prevent injuries in youth baseball players.

Dr. Carr noted most throwing injuries are the result of overuse, suggesting athletes should only play on one team at a time. Players should also take a minimum of 3-4 months off from throwing every year to allow their bodies to heal.

According to Dr. Carr, shoulder or elbow pain is never normal, and players should not try to “throw through” the pain. Some soreness the following day can happen, however pain while throwing is not typical. If pain persists despite adequate time off, Dr. Carr advised to seek further evaluation.

Additionally, players should avoid unsafe training and throwing programs. Dr. Carr explained many programs designed to increase velocity use extreme methods that place dangerous stress on the arm. Safe pitching mechanics should never be compromised for velocity.

Furthermore, athletes should avoid specializing in one position at a young age. Dr. Carr cited playing a variety of positions builds different skills and can prevent overuse injuries from excessive pitching.

This article appeared in the print edition on March 14, 2021.