Baseball is a popular sport that is enjoyed by millions of children each year. The sport offers many potential benefits to your child, but there are some injury concerns. The following injuries are fairly common to young baseball players, and it's important to recognize the signs and symptoms of these injuries.
The medial collateral ligament and anterior cruciate ligament are both needed for the knee to remain stable. The sudden stops involved with base running and chasing down ground balls can result in a sudden strain on these ligaments. The pain involved with ACL and MCL injuries is both sudden and severe. A popping sound is often heard when this injury occurs, and the young athlete might describe a snapping sensation within the knee. There will possibly be a bit of swelling in the area around the ligament and the knee can feel unstable. The child may also find it difficult to put weight on the affected leg. Minor knee ligament injuries can heal with time and rest. More severe injuries will need surgery.
Elbow injuries are so common they are practically an epidemic in baseball. The ulnar collateral ligament is located in the elbow, and problems with this ligament are very common to pitchers. The UCL works to stabilize the joint and keeps the elbow from bending sideways. The repeated strain of pitching a baseball can possibly damage this ligament. An injury to the UCL will cause tenderness and pain to the inside of the elbow. The young athlete might also report a bit of stiffness. In a few cases, the ring finger and little finger of the hand can tingle or become numb. Grip strength may also not be as strong as before the injury. UCL injuries can often be treated without surgery. However, if instability remains for an extended length of time, surgery will be necessary.
Muscle strains and sprains are common in all sports, including baseball. These injuries are usually in the back, arms, and legs. In most cases, the ligaments attached to the muscle has been overstretched. In some cases, a partial tear is experienced.
The severity of the injury may cause symptoms to differ from case to case, but the injury may cause pain, weakness, or spasms in the affected area. The area can also become bruised, inflamed, and swollen. Rest, ice, compression, and other treatment methods are usually sufficient for strains and sprains to muscles.
Baseball is a great sport for teens as well as younger children. It provides good exercise and teaches values like teamwork and fair play. But baseball, like all sports, poses some risk of injury to participants. It's important to recognize the signs of these injuries as soon as they occur.