Our favorite sign of spring is here. It’s officially baseball season, which means winter is finally behind us!
[If you came for our “Bizarre Baseball Injury Trivia” from Instagram, keep reading—or scroll through— for the answers at the bottom.]
First, in order to understand common baseball injuries, let’s take a quick look at what makes baseball unique in terms of physical strength.
What muscles are most important in baseball?
Baseball is a sport that requires a distinct combination of skill, dexterity, and muscle strength. The most important muscles for a player can vary by their role in the game, but a few muscle groups remain important for all players across the board:
- CORE. All players should focus on core muscles of the abdomen, trunk and hips. Swinging (and twisting) requires significant core strength. Weakness in this category leads to muscle pulls and strains. Pitchers, in particular, need core strength to transition power from the lower body to the throwing arm.
- LEGS. Baseball recruits all major muscles in the legs—the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. Players engage legs when moving laterally, throwing, and squating. Leg strength translates to improved velocity on throws and helps the pitcher power off the mound. Legs also create a sound base for players at bat and offer speed for running bases.
- ARMS. Contrary to what you might think, it’s the forearms and wrists—not big biceps— that helps power a swing. Biceps and triceps do play a certain role, but strong forearms and wrists improve bat control and create the whip action.
- SHOULDERS. Pitching puts significant burden on the shoulder joint. Most players need strong shoulders to keep their throwing arms activated and accurate.
COMMON BASEBALL INJURIES
Even with the strongest of physical foundations, playing baseball constantly creates a lot of wear and tear on the body. Here’s a look at some of the most common injuries seen in professional players:
- Rotator Cuff Tear
- Torn Labrum
- Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) Injury
- Elbow Inflammation
- Hand and Wrist Injuries
- Torn Meniscus
- Torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
- Head Injuries
- Muscle Strains
- Ankle Sprains
At Aligned Modern Health, we offer a range of non-invasive therapies to help athletes recover strength, heal from injury, and avoid surgery. Depending on the exact nature of your concerns, our chiropractic, rehabilitation therapy, acupuncture, and massage therapy services can all bring relief from pain while significantly speeding up your recovery time. If you would like a complimentary injury assessment, connect with our team by completing the form below.
BIZARRE INJURY – BASEBALL TRIVIA
Now that we’ve covered common injuries, some of the uncommon injuries featured in our trivia today may be hard to believe… but they are all true!
Just like you and me, professional players are human and not prone to the unexpected bumps and bruises of life.
To answer the question we posed (“Did it really happen?”)….YES, all of the following bizarre injuries of MLB players have been accounted for:
- In 2004, Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa suffered from back spasms during a game after sneezing too hard.
- Cubs right fielder Jose Cardenal missed a game in 1972 because he was kept awake all night by crickets chirping in his hotel room.
- Bluejay Rickey Henderson missed three games in 1993 because he fell asleep with an ice pack on his foot, resulting in frostbite.
- In 1990, Bluejay Glenallen Hill had a run-in with a glass table after having a nightmare about spiders, which landed him on the injured list.
- Tigers pitcher Joel Zumaya had to miss a game during the 2006 ALCS due to right arm inflammation caused by playing too much Guitar Hero.
- During Brewers Spring Training in 1994, reliever Steve Sparks separated his shoulder while tearing apart a phone book with his bare hands.
- Pirates Roberto Clemente fell out of a hammock on his porch while asleep and rolled down several yards of a steep slope, resulting in a string of back injuries.
- In 2002, Orioles Marty Cordova fell asleep in a tanning bed and burned his face so badly he couldn’t play.
- Royals George Brett was listening to a Cubs game on TV and doing laundry. In an effort to catch the at-bat of Bill Buckner, Brett slammed his foot on a door and fractured a toe.
When you are injured the most common commonality should be getting help from a medical professional as soon as possible. Connect with our Physical Medicine Team today by completing the form below.
Please fill out the form to request an appointment at our health and wellness center for the service and location of your preference. We try to get back to all requests as quickly as possible. If you need immediate assistance, please call 773-598-4387.
Your safety comes first: we are operating with heightened safety measures in our clinics and offer telemedicine for those unable to visit in person.