Know The Signs and Symptoms of these Conditions that Affect Softball Players of All Ages
Softball is more popular in the U.S. than ever in 2023, and it’s not just for children and teens. Adult softball leagues are an increasingly popular way to get exercise and socialize with friends, in part because softball requires minimal equipment and is not a contact sport.
But even without contact, softball injuries are a common occurrence. And though most injuries are relatively minor, softball players are at risk for certain serious injuries — and others that will become more severe over time if left untreated.
So, before you or your children take the field, make sure you understand the most common softball injuries, and the signs and symptoms to watch out for.
The sooner you can recognize that something is wrong and visit an experienced Pembroke Pines chiropractor, the faster you’ll be able to heal and get back to playing like normal.
4 Types of Softball Injuries and How to Treat Them
- Sprains and Strains
Whether they’re from stretching too far to reach for a fly ball, or from repetitive motions like pitching or swinging a bat, sprains and strains can affect any softball player.
A strain happens when a muscle or a tendon (the tissue connecting a muscle to a bone) is injured, and a sprain is an injured ligament (the tissue connecting two bones together). With both sprains and strains, you may experience stiffness, tenderness, swelling, and bruising.
In many cases, strains and sprains will heal if you rest, ice the affected area, and give them time to heal. However, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid seeking medical treatment for a strain or sprain.
Working with a chiropractor can not only help you heal faster, but you’ll also be able to rule out more serious injuries like tendon or ligament tears, which typically have similar symptoms and require more significant medical treatment.
Did you know that softball players can get tennis elbow, too? This condition — which is technically called epicondylitis — happens as the result of wear and tear, usually from a repetitive motion like pitching.
Tendonitis can also affect other joints in the body, and for softball players, it’s especially common in the shoulders, knees, and ankles. In any case, a repetitive motion involved with playing softball — whether it’s pitching, swinging the bat, or throwing to first — can cause tiny tears to form in the tendons attached to a joint.
Tendonitis might start slowly with soreness, stiffness, and swelling, or it might begin all at once with a burning pain or even a grating feeling in the joint.
It’s extremely important to get treatment for tendonitis right away, because this condition worsens over time and eventually could get so severe that you have to stop playing softball altogether.
- Little League Elbow
Little League Elbow, also known as medial epicondyle apophysitis, is an injury that specifically affects young softball players who are still growing. It occurs when the growth plate in the inner part of the elbow gets irritated and inflamed, usually from throwing too much without enough rest.
In some severe cases, the growth plate can even break away from the arm, so it’s important to get this condition diagnosed as early as possible.
Little League elbow typically starts with pain on the inside of the elbow, which occurs when you throw a ball. Players may also experience swelling, reduced pitching speed or accuracy, and stiffness that makes it hard to extend the elbow fully.
With rest and early intervention from a chiropractor, youth suffering from Little League elbow can often strengthen the affected area through physical therapy and chiropractic adjustment.
- Rotator Cuff Injuries
If you find yourself experiencing shoulder pain while pitching, swinging the bat, or fielding balls, you might have a rotator cuff injury.
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons surrounding the shoulder and keeping it in place, so there’s a wide variety of injuries that can affect this grouping. These may include:
- Muscle and tendon tears
- Rotator cuff degeneration
- Shoulder impingement
Because these conditions all vary in severity and often have similar symptoms, it’s especially important to get an expert opinion early on if you find yourself experiencing shoulder pain.
In particular, a chiropractor like Dr. Rush has multiple tools at their disposal to help with these injuries, including chiropractic adjustment, muscle stimulation, and strengthening exercises. They can help you understand the root cause of your pain and heal faster, typically without relying on pain medication.
The Benefits of Chiropractic Care
If you’re experiencing pain from these or other softball injuries, our team at Rush Chiropractic wants to help you find relief so you can prevent future reinjury and get back to playing as soon as possible.
Many people don’t realize that chiropractic adjustment or joint manipulation can help areas of the body other than the spine. In fact, we can use this tactic on other joints like knees, shoulders, and ankles.
By adjusting the joint and its surrounding tissues, we can often improve your mobility and decrease irritation on the affected tissues so they can heal faster.
Other services that we often use for softball injuries include:
- Electrical Muscle Stimulation
- Exercise and Nutritional Advice
- Hot and Cold Therapy
If you’re experiencing pain from a softball injury and want to start feeling better and getting stronger, today’s the day to take action. Give us a call at 954-432-5006 to learn how we can help.
Dr. Rush is a 1994 graduate of the University of Florida where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Sports Science and Wellness.
Dr. Rush earned his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree at Life University in 2000 where he was honored with magna cum laude. Dr. Rush was born and raised in South Florida where he returned after graduation. He currently practices in Pembroke Pines where he owns and operates Rush Chiropractic and Rehab.