Just like any competitive sport, baseball requires many repetitive movements and incredible strength and agility, and if you don’t take time to warm up and practice safely, then you could be putting yourself in harm’s way. Yes, baseball involves more than just sitting in the dugout waiting for your turn to swing the bat, so you need to take preventive measures and recognize when you need medical attention.
If you are considering joining a baseball team or you are a current professional who has been in the game for a while, then you need to pay attention to these common ailments so you can stay safe while out on the field.
Most positions in baseball, from pitcher to batter, require repetitive movements. While it is necessary to do these actions in order to succeed, you must be careful not to overdo them. Most of these movements require the use of the shoulder, elbow, and wrist, and those body parts can be easily injured or even broken if you don’t take the time to rest. If left untreated, you could experience tendonitis, which can cause redness and swelling that could keep you out of the game when you may be needed the most.
After every game, you must take the time to stretch your body. Talk to your trainer about the best stretches and exercises to try. Yoga is a great way to loosen up your whole body and can also help you breathe easier and clear your mind, so consider a weekly class.
While there are more obvious injuries that you can sustain, like getting hit by a pitch or stretching a muscle, there are some threats that you may not even know exist. One of them is the potential chance of developing varicose veins. This condition can occur when you sit for long periods of time because the blood cannot flow as easily as necessary. It stays in one spot, creating those often unsightly marks. Other risk factors include age and being overweight.
If you sit for long periods of time in the dugout, then you could be at an increased risk. Make it a habit to get up every few minutes to stretch your legs.
Another condition that you may not have thought of is the possibility of eye injuries, including cataracts. Essentially, a cataract is the clouding of the eye’s natural lens, and, over time, it can cause blurry vision, double vision, or trouble seeing certain colors. If you need to hit that last-second pitch or catch that ground ball, then you will need your eyes to be in tip-top shape.
The common causes of cataracts include smoking, age, and excessive UV exposure from the sun. That is why it is so important to wear sunglasses whenever you are out on the field and never look directly at the sun. You should also eat a healthy diet with plenty of antioxidants because they help protect your eyes from damage.
Just like any sport, it can be stressful when things are not going your way. You want to perform your best so you can help your team win, and if you don’t feel like you are part of the solution, then it can get to your head. The problem is that when you get too stressed, then you tend to overthink and get overly upset, and that will actually hamper your productivity. It is important to work on your mental health because, in addition to losing sleep and feeling depressed, stress can also manifest itself through physical pain.
When we are filled with anxiety, we also increase our chance of high blood pressure and heart attack, and failure to resolve the situation can even lead to death. Also, if you get stressed, then you can also get burned out, and if you don’t exercise regularly and you get up to swing that bat, then you could cause permanent harm. You need to manage your baseball-related stress so that doesn’t happen.
Start by spending time with your family and friends so you can unwind. You can also spend more time outside at the park enjoying nature or taking a hike. Being around that greenery will help you feel better.
While you may be a professional with years of experience, it is still possible to let your technique slip or realize that you are doing a particular movement incorrectly. If you don’t correct that behavior, then you could land in an awkward position or cause harm to your bones or joints. If you feel like a movement feels unnatural or a coach tells you that there is a better way to do something, then consider their advice. Work with them to improve your technique, and you can avoid a potentially career-ending injury.
In the end, you may be one of the best players on your team, but if you do not watch these behaviors and keep your body in tip-top shape, then you could cause irreversible damage. Consider the advice discussed here, and you can continue your career for years to come.