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Chiropractic Strikes Out Baseball Shoulder Injuries

By Chris Brown

America's pastime, baseball, is a sport with minimal contact. However, the repetitive motions of the game and the large number of professional games each season make it primed for joint, ligament, and soft tissue injuries. In fact, shoulder pain affects more than half (an estimated 57 percent) of professional baseball pitchers. This high rate of joint injuries means that chiropractic techniques can bring great aid to baseball. Professional organizations seem to agree, as there were 28 Major League Baseball (MLB) teams utilizing regular chiropractic services for home games, practices, and spring training as of 2017. Baseball's most common injuries, shoulder injuries, can be rehabilitated or prevented by chiropractic manipulation.

Baseball's Injuries From Repetition

While general sports-related impact or muscle strain injuries can occur in baseball, upper body injuries from repetitive throwing actions are particularly commonplace. The three most common baseball injuries are all shoulder injuries: rotator cuff tears, torn labrums, and ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injuries. If they progress far enough, these injuries often require invasive surgery. The most famous baseball shoulder surgery, Tommy John surgery, repairs the frequently occurring UCL injuries in pitchers. While surgeries have greater instances of full recovery than in the past, any procedure adds more trauma to the delicate shoulder areas important in baseball's throwing motion. It is better for athletes to avoid surgeries when possible and one way to do this is with consistent chiropractic care.

How Chiropractic Relieves and Cures Baseball Injuries

Chiropractic can work wonders in prevention, recovery, and even rehabilitation of common baseball shoulder injuries. Remember, anything it can do for a baseball player, it can do for you. 

The most important role of regular chiropractic visits for baseball players is to identify the signs of a shoulder injury and correct it. If caught early, small tears in the rotator cuff, for instance, can be diagnosed and rehabilitated with the help of chiropractic manipulation. This can prevent a larger shoulder ligament injury and reduce the likelihood of future surgery. This is supported by a 2011 systematic review in the Journal of Manipulative Therapies that stated chiropractic had a fair level of evidence of success with rotator cuff injuries. 

A major issue following shoulder ligament injuries is lingering chronic shoulder instability. This is because connective tissues act as major stabilizing forces for joints such as the shoulder. If the shoulder is out of optimal positioning, it can put undue strain upon the weakened ligaments and potentially cause reinjury. Chiropractors are especially great at identifying and correcting improper shoulder alignment post-injury, or post-surgery, to reduce the risk of reinjury and extend a baseball player's career.

The Joint Chiropractic offers affordable treatments if you have joint problems from baseball-related injuries. Sessions are by walk-in only, so stop by to conveniently relieve your pain and get you back on the field. And, with over 600 clinics nationwide, The Joint is always nearby to offer their experienced and proven pain-relief options.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Minneapolis, Minn.

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