Published 4/12/2021

Batter Up: Avoid Overuse Injuries on the Field

Orthopaedic surgeons offer safety tips to consider if taking part in baseball this spring

ROSEMONT, Ill. (April 12, 2021)–With baseball season in full swing, muscle sprains, strains and bruises are on the rise. Avoid these injuries and others this season by taking caution when on the field. Although baseball is a non-contact sport, these common injuries may occur through accidental collision with a ball, bat or another player.

“Overhead athletes, such as baseball players, place significant repetitive stress on the shoulder and elbow joints,” states orthopaedic sports surgeon and AAOS spokesperson Nima Mehran, MD, FAAOS. “Between the repetitive overuse and the year-round nature of the sport, athletes are at increased risk for shoulder and elbow injuries. The best way to avoid these injuries in baseball players is by avoiding single sport specialization and encouraging the kids to be active in multiple sports. This will allow them to break from the repetitive motions in baseball while developing other skills necessary for injury prevention.”

To eliminate overuse injuries, follow established guidelines for youth baseball. These guidelines include limiting the number of pitches thrown and type of pitches thrown according to age. Pitch Smart, a Major League Baseball and USA Baseball initiative, provides guidelines for parents, players and coaches to ovoid overuse. If your young pitcher is experiencing shoulder or arm pain, be sure to seek medical care.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) suggests the following if taking part in baseball this season.

  • Get a physical exam. A pre-season physical exam is important for players of all ages. The goal is to prevent injuries and illnesses by identifying any potential medical problems.
  • Always warm up. Warm up with some easy calisthenics, such as jumping jacks. Continue with walking or light running, such as running the bases. Gentle stretching of the back, hamstrings, and shoulders can be helpful.
  • Cool down and stretch. Never skip stretching at the end of practice or a game. Stretching can help reduce muscle soreness and keep muscles long and flexible. Slowly and gently stretch after activity, holding each stretch for 30 seconds.
  • Even mild levels of dehydration can hurt athletic performance. If you have not had enough fluids, your body will not be able to effectively cool itself through sweat and evaporation. A general recommendation is to drink 24 ounces of non-caffeinated fluid 2 hours before exercise and an 8oz. cup of water every 20 minutes throughout exercise.

For more information about baseball injury prevention, visit

For more information on overuse injuries, visit

To schedule an interview with an AAOS expert about common musculoskeletal injuries from youth sports, email

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About the AAOS
With more than 39,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is the world’s largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. The AAOS is the trusted leader in advancing musculoskeletal health. It provides the highest quality, most comprehensive education to help orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals at every career level to best treat patients in their daily practices. The AAOS is the source for information on bone and joint conditions, treatments and related musculoskeletal health care issues and it leads the health care discussion on advancing quality.

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Contact AAOS Media Relations 

Deanna Killackey 


Lauren Riley