Baseball Pitchers and Overuse Injuries


Why are young baseball pitchers the target of so much scrutiny for overuse? Are there other sports/positions that compare to the overuse-type injuries pitchers face?

Dr. Joshua A. Blomgren:

We watch young baseball pitchers closely because they were some of the first to have an identifiable pattern of overuse injuries. The injuries we see in this population can sometimes lead to surgery and a significant time away from sport as they recover and return. The principle of overuse injuries centers around the element of transition. The two scenarios we often see are athlete who does "Too Much, Too Quickly" or the athlete who does "Too Much, Too Often." You can take any sport or position and if one of these apply, the player can develop overuse type injuries. Sports that seem to have a high predilection of these types of injury patterns are those that involve a motion pattern that is repeated (throwing, overhead hitting, etc.) or a pattern of movements that are not only repeated, but overlap among disciplines (gymnastics). I have seen many an overuse injury in my practice and I have seen them in all sports. Common overuse injuries include: stress fractures, tendinitis, apophysitis (Little Leaguer's elbow, Osgood-Schlatter, Sever's disease).