How to Treat Three Common Softball Injuries

Michael G. Ciccotti, MD June 19th, 2018

Here’s what you need to know about softball injury treatment options.

For softball players, familiarity with common softball injuries is essential.

Understanding the risk associated with softball activity can help you to approach your sports season with better preparation; and your heightened awareness and preparedness can in turn help you to prevent many of the orthopaedic injuries that regularly affect softball athletes.

For players who have experienced sports injuries, however, it is not enough to have awareness of common injuries. Injured players need to be aware of effective softball injury treatments that can address and resolve the orthopaedic injury they have suffered.

Tendonitis, Strains, and Sprains

Listed below are three of the most common softball injuries and the respective treatment methods that Rothman Orthopaedic Institute physicians recommend for optimal recovery and a quick return to sports.

  1. Tendonitis
    Tendons are the tough connective tissues that attach muscle to bone within the musculoskeletal system. When tendons become exposed to excessive stress or strain, the tissues of the tendons become inflamed and symptoms of pain will emerge. This is due to a condition known as tendonitis.

    Among softball athletes, tendonitis most commonly affects the tendons of the wrist and the shoulder, including the biceps and rotator cuff. Pitchers are at heightened risk of tendonitis due to the high-impact stress of repeated throwing motions.

    What treatments are recommended for tendonitis? For many players, a reduction in the intensity or frequency of high-impact activities will be sufficient for reducing inflammation and relieving pain. Rest, icing, compression, and elevation, as well as anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy, are also effective for treating early-stage tendonitis. If symptoms are severe and more conservative treatments have been insufficient, steroid injection or surgery to remove or repair damaged tissues may be advised.

  2. Shoulder Strains
    A strain is an orthopaedic term describing a stretched or torn muscle or tendon. Among softball players, muscles strains are some of the most commonly suffered injuries, especially in the shoulder region. Much like in cases of tendonitis, the biceps and rotator cuff are particularly prone to strains. Some of these injuries may occur gradually as the result of overuse, while others are due to sudden trauma.

    RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation,) as well as the use of supportive devices, such as slings, are often prescribed for the treatment of low-grade shoulder strains. If a biceps or rotator cuff tear has occurred, however, reconstructive surgery may be needed to reattach torn muscle/tendon.

  3. Ankle Sprains
    Similar to strains, sprains are injuries that involve stretching or tearing of the body’s ligaments. Ligaments are the connective tissues that attach bones to muscle, and the ankle is the most commonly sprained body part.

    Due to the quick movements, pivots, and directional changes made during softball activity, players are at a high risk of ankle sprains.Though most ankle sprains are not serious, they can worsen without adequate treatment. This can weaken the ankle ligaments and make repeat injuries likely, which may jeopardize your softball career.

    With that in mind, orthopaedic physicians recommend RICE and anti-inflammatory drugs for low-grade sprains; immobilization (such as a cast or boot,) the use of crutches, and physical therapy for mid-grade to severe sprains, and reconstructive surgery for the most severe sprains.

Common Softball Injuries, Exceptional Treatment Options

Whether you have suffered a softball shoulder injury, softball elbow injury, or any of the other orthopaedic injuries associated with softball, Rothman Orthopaedic Institute can treat you with the specialized Sports Medicine care you need. Our Sports Medicine experts can likewise provide injured athletes with the orthopaedic knowledge and tips they need as they face the treatment and recovery process.

If you have experienced one of these common softball injuries or a sports injury of any type, please visit us here or contact us at 1-800-321-9999.

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