Baseball Blog Part 1: Reducing injury risk – Overuse Injuries


What are they?

Overuse injuries are as simple as they sound: injuries as a consequence of doing too much or changing too much in a short amount of time. The bodies warning sign is most often pain which usually has a gradual onset and may be described as very mild initially or  pain which ‘comes and goes’. It may only be there after training/ matches or present in the warm-up but then feel good once warm. These injuries can sometimes lead to losing strength when throwing, reduced performance, missing out on training or even matches.To reduce the risk of this happening, it is important to be aware of proper prevention strategies and early intervention by a physiotherapist should a problem arise.


What factors increase the risk of these injuries:

  •     Rapid increases in training volume and intensity
  •     Failure to monitor throwing loads
  •     Sudden change in type of training
  •     Inadequate recovery
  •     Poor technique
  •     Inadequate nutrition
  •     Muscle weakness
  •     Lack of flexibility
  •     Genetic factors


How can we reduce injury risk?

  • Effective communication- Ensuring training load is monitored by coaching staff with communication between coaches and players to ensure everyone is aware of all baseball and sporting commitments.  Keeping a training diary can help to communicate this
  • Use resources e.g. Pitchsmart to guide and inform you of appropriate training loads (
  • Do the little things- ensure adequate warm ups, cool downs and recovery sessions are completed including adequate nutrition.
  •  Strength and conditioning- complete the training that ensures your body is as strong, mobile and flexible enough to cope with the matches.
  • Technique training- complete the technique drills with focus and consistency.  Fun fact if changing/ modifying technique it takes 3000- 5000 exact repetitions to re-train a specific movement.
  • Listen to your body- if you are fatigued, sore or starting to get pain communicate with coaches and be smart about which training or matches may need to reduce
  • Early treatment- if you are sore or starting to get pain seek advice and treatment early


Even with all the best prevention strategies injuries are a part of sport and if one occur knowing what to do next will ensure the fastest return to matches. 


Role of physiotherapy:

  • Early assessment and accurate diagnosis of your injury will help you understand your injury with a treatment plan to determine how to manage it in the early stage and rehabilitation to reduce the risk of this injury coming back
  • This may require activity modification with a period of de-loading or rest from some aspects of training or matches This may involve devising a scheduled throwing/ hitting plan in discussion with the physio/ coach to return to play as quickly as possible with confidence performance is high and injury risk is low
  • Communicate with coaching staff to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding your rehabilitation 
  •  Specific treatment including massage, taping, specific exercises to target factors contributing to the injury and progressive return to baseball.


What are some of the more common overuse injuries for baseball: