Throwing injuries are common in athletes who throw a lot, especially in baseball and particularly in pitchers. The repetitive stresses on the shoulder can lead to a plethora of shoulder overuse injuries. Similar injuries are also seen in other sports requiring repetitive overhand motions, such as tennis, softball, or volleyball.
What causes Throwing Injuries?
When athletes throw repeatedly, with velocity, significant stresses are placed on the structures of the shoulder and elbow joints. As one structure is weakened due to repetitive stresses, other structures must step in to pick up the slack. Injuries will result, most often in the shoulder with the rotator cuff or labrum, or in the elbow with an injury to the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL).
How do you know you have a Throwing Injury?
Typical symptoms of a throwing injury are:
- Pain during and after throwing
- Loss of throwing velocity
- Numbness and tingling
- Loss of motion and strength
How does OSI fix a Throwing Injury?
An OSI orthopedic expert will discuss your activities with you to determine what may be causing your shoulder, elbow, or arm pain. You will then be examined using one or more of the following to verify your throwing injury and help determine the best course of treatment:
- Physical exam: Following a discussion of your medical history and symptoms, your OSI physician will conduct a thorough examination, performing a number of tests to assess range of motion, stability, and strength, as well as to try to pinpoint the precise location of the pain.
- Imaging: X-ray or MRI may be used to determine the extent of the injuries to the structures of the elbow/shoulder.
Nonsurgical treatment options for many throwing injuries prove successful:
- Activity modification
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
- Physical therapy
- Corrective mechanics
- Cortisone injections
Different surgical options are available, depending on factors such as the type of injury, as well as your anatomy and age. The selection is based on the health needs of the individual. Arthroscopy is the preferred choice for many throwing injuries, but more significant throwing injuries like ligament tears may need reconstruction.