If you’re big on getting through injuries on your own and you incur some while playing baseball, there’s actually often some effective ways to get through it. You really can do it on your own in most cases, depending on the situation. Here are a few ways to treat common baseball injuries without spending more time taking it easy than you absolutely have to.
Rotator Cuff Overview
Do enough throwing either as a pitcher or as a fielder, and eventually, you’ll end up with trouble in your shoulder. Specifically, rotator cuff strains happen when one of the four muscles in your shoulder get damaged. If your shoulder is burning, it’s best to put ice on it sooner rather than later. One thing you also might want to think about is making sure that you’re throwing mechanics don’t have a problem. If you’re throwing too far out to one side without properly compensating with footwork, this could also be a cause.
Lower Back Strain
Both pitchers and hitters can have lower back problems. These activities put pressure on your lower back, after all. If you don’t treat strain to your lower back, it could result in a fracture eventually. So, yes, it is treatable yourself, but at the same time, you should definitely monitor it for signs that it could be getting away from you and that you need to go see a medical professional before acute problems result. If you end up with breakages in your vertebrae, you’re really going to need some serious surgery.
Determining Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Strain
You can tell if you have rotator cuff issues primarily due to where the pain is in your body and what its nature is. For example, if you feel a tearing sensation in the shoulder region, and you feel pain radiating down your arm, these are sure signs you might have the condition. You might also have a problem when the tendon is pinched in between the shoulder socket and the shoulder ball.
Rotator Cuff Treatment
It’s also important to elevate the area and keep a compress on it. You should put the ice on for 10 minutes every hour when the inflammation is bad, and then you can go back down to only a few times per day when the pain is less. Obviously, it’s also important to rest the arm. If it’s bad enough, you can get a sling for it. That way, if you still need to go to work or do something else, you have the ability to do so.
You can take off the sling at night if you want as well so that you only really need to use it when you need the shoulder immobilized for going about your day so the pain is more manageable if you can’t get it down enough with ice or with pain medication. You’re obviously only going to be able to use so much pain medication depending on your situation, in order to stay safe. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you properly and fully utilize other methods.
General Pain Issues
The main approach to any kind of pain resulting from a baseball injury goes by the acronym “PRICE.” This stands for “Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. The first approach, called ‘protection’, means that you need to protect the area that’s become damaged in order to get it healing as soon as possible. This often requires wearing a brace of some sort to make sure you don’t keep moving the area that’s become damaged. This is obviously essential in order to make sure that further damage doesn’t happen when you don’t realize what’s going on.
The “R” stands for “rest.” Once an injury becomes distracting in terms of pain, you have to rest the area. You won’t be able to play at all if you let it continue and go from a minor pain issue to something major. The “I” stands for “ice.” If the area is swelling, then you need to get it down with a cold pack or ice that’s properly wrapped to prevent freezer burn. This will also help numb the area and reduce pain so that the situation is a bit more bearable for you to get through.
The “C” is short for “compression.” Using a compression wrap is similar to using a sling or any other means of keeping an area of your body from getting further injured. However, it’s unique in that it can help bring down swelling as well as provide some amount of support to tissue. This is especially useful when tissue or joints have become strained and leaving them as is would simply just add additional strain even while just moving around in a normal fashion.
It’s important to make sure that the bandages used for compression aren’t too tight. If you feel any numbness or tingling in the area, you should loosen the bandage immediately. Same goes if you notice discoloration of any kind. You should have support, but it shouldn’t be uncomfortable. This can also help if you have a strain that’s not so bad that you have to stop what you’re playing, but that’s enough of an annoyance that you want to make sure that it doesn’t get any worse.
If you’re going to sleep with the compressed area on, you should definitely make it looser than what it was at before first. You can always tighten it up again in the morning. But, this can also make it easier to sleep if you’re feeling pain due to swelling or some tissue being out of place due to strain or any other reason.
The final part is called “elevate,” and this is important for making sure that there’s no chance that fluid will gather inside of any injury where you don’t want that happening. If you elevate a limb or other body part, this can reduce the pooling of bodily fluid, which can reduce swelling. Less swelling means less pain, and an easier time for you. It also often means faster healing so you can get back out onto the diamond quicker.
In order to do it right, you need to make sure you bring the affected body part until it’s higher than wherever your heart is in that position. This is what slows down the blood flow to your heart and other areas. One way to do this is by using pillows and other means of padding your bed to get the affected area high enough, especially if you need to do this while sleeping.
This 5-pronged approach works especially well for muscle and joint issues, and it’s something of universality when it comes to those types of issues. Obviously, it’s not a complete substitute for seeing a medical professional, but it can help if the situation is minor enough that you can treat it yourself. The goal is to minimize downtime, after all, and minor injuries shouldn’t be enough to sideline you for too long, provided that you treat the situation properly.