5 Most Common Softball Injuries
What are the most common softball injuries?
- Ankle Sprains
- Shoulder Tendonitis
- Elbow Injuries
- Neck Pain
- Wrist Injuries
1. Ankle Sprains
As in many other sports, an ankle sprain is the number one most common softball injury. Ankle sprains account for 10% of all injuries in practice and games. They typically occur from running bases and sliding into bases. Ankle sprains can be avoided by training in strengthening the ankle muscles and proper sliding training. Ankle sprains are common across all sports that include any fast movement or jumping. Ankle sprains can be treated on their own, but need rest and recovery time in order to not lead to a fracture.
2. Shoulder Tendonitis
Shoulder tendonitis is a popular injury in softball, specifically among pitchers or hard strong throwers. The windmill style of pitching in softball is typically the leading cause of shoulder injuries. Shoulder tendinitis, which is the inflammation of shoulder tendons, occurs commonly in the shoulder or rotator cuff of softball players. Pitchers have a greater chance of being affected by this injury. While this is the most common shoulder injury in softball, players can also experience more serious injuries in the shoulder like shoulder separation or a torn rotator cuff.
3. Elbow Injuries
Elbow injuries are the next most common softball injury. The two types of common elbow injuries are "golfer's elbow" and "tennis elbow." Both of these injuries are caused by overuse, which can just simply be from frequent play. When the muscles of the arm and forearm tear the tendons over time, this painful injury occurs. Golfer's elbow is properly known as medial epicondylitis and tennis elbow is properly known as lateral epicondylitis.These two injuries are very similar, just differing over a different movement and either being inside or outside. Injured players must rest and recover before returning back to play.
4. Neck Pain
Neck pain is a popular softball injury caused by hard-throwing that usually only targets the shoulder, but if done incorrectly can hurt the player's spine. Throwing the softball can lead to low neck and upper back pain or develop until a strain on the connective tissue of the spine. Since the game of softball revolves around fast high-impact throwing and batting, the neck and back can easily be strained from a wrong move or the overuse of the muscles.
5. Wrist Injuries
Wrist injuries are the last most common injury in softball players. Typically, any sport that involves catching or throwing a ball has the potential to hurt the athletes' wrists or fingers. Softball players most commonly experience sprained wrists or fractured fingers. Wrist sprains and finger fracture injuries can also be caused by falling on the wrist or hand, which can happen accidentally when sliding bases. Wrist tendinitis is also common which occurs from the overuse of the wrist tendons, typically an injury pitchers experience. The windmill style of pitching in softball has the strong potential of injuring the players' wrists if overdone.