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Updated by amelia-grantny on Feb 24, 2020
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4 Most Common Shoulder Injuries in Baseball

Baseball, just like any other sport, involves a high risk of getting injured. Shoulder injuries are considered the most common in baseball.




To be more specific, a throwing athlete is more prone to getting exposed to this type of problem. Shoulder pain specialists say that extremely high pressure is put on the shoulder during the overhand throwing. Baseball players experience these repeated stress on a regular basis, which could lead to a wide variety of overuse injuries. In general, any athlete, who is is involved in repetitive overhand motion is under risk of getting a shoulder injury.

From a medical standpoint, the shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint, which consists of three bones. These are the upper arm bone (humor), shoulder blade (scapula) and the collarbone (clavicle). A shoulder is also highly reliable on strong tendons and muscles in order to keep it stable. Apart from that, muscles in the upper back also play an extremely important role in keeping your shoulder stable. These muscles can be also called scapular stabilizers. The following section focuses on the most common shoulder injuries in baseball.


Rotator cuff tendinitis

Enormous pressure is put on the rotator cuff by throwing athletes. In the early stages of the injury, a person might dismiss the beginning symptoms. This is due to the fact that they are normally mild, which involves minor shoulder pain during the activity or rest. In case if the rotator cuff tendons are overworked, they become irritated and inflamed. When tendons are worn down it can result in fraying. If this issue continues to be unaddressed, the damage can lead to the point of a tear.



Instability is a type of problem that develops gradually in throwing athletes. It typically happens when tissues in the shoulder cannot keep the arm centered in the shoulder socket. Because of repetitive throwing, the ligaments stretch over time, which makes the head of the shoulder to slip from the socket easier. As an outcome of this, an athlete might experience severe shoulder pain, decreased throwing velocity and numbness.


Internal impingement

Young athletes are under higher risk of experiencing this type of problem. Internal impingement generally appears during the “cocking” phase of throwing. When an athlete cocks the shoulder and arm back, the rotator cuff tendons get pinched between the glenoid and the humeral head. In the long run, it might cause a partial rotator cuff tendon tear. In other cases, it might damage the labrum.


SLAP tears

A SLAP tear injury deals with the top section of the labrum. From a medical standpoint, it is the cup-shaped cartilage rim that reinforces the ball and socket joint of the shoulder. In most cases, it is caused by repetitive shoulder motion. This injury can develop over time as a result of straining, tearing or fraying the labrum. Shoulder pain specialists state that pitchers are more prone to this type of injury.


Shoulder injury prevention techniques

You cannot protect yourself 100% from this type of injury during a baseball game. However, doctors advise some simple methods that can help to prevent shoulder injury. These include proper conditioning and recovery time from training. In addition to that, it is highly important to make use of shoulder strengthening exercises. This would help to maintain good shoulder girdle function. You should not also forget about the importance of stretching and warm-up exercises. Avoidance of warm-up exercises can lead to serious shoulder injuries, which can make you stay away from your favorite sport for a long duration of time. It is also advised to follow the pitching guidelines regarding the number of pitches per game and week.