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SportsMed News

How to Avoid Tommy John Surgery

July 28, 2017

The Tommy John Surgery is notorious among baseball players. It’s a surgery needed to fix a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) that can happen from the repetitive motion of throwing a baseball. When one throws during a baseball game, the UCL runs the risk of being torn, frayed and stretched due to the high amount of stress dealt during the throw. While the only method of fixing a torn UCL is through the Tommy John surgery, steps can be taken to avoid going through the excruciating period altogether. It is particularly important because non-elite athletes who have to go through the surgery are rarely able to return to play with the same level of skill due to the lengthy rehabilitation time. In this article, we will go through some ways to prevent a UCL tear and ultimately circumvent Tommy John surgery altogether.

Warm Up

Although it is known that volume of the pitch will ultimately affect the chances of you tearing your UCL, having proper warm-up will ensure that the risk of injury significantly decreases as a pitcher. This is ever so important in younger pitchers as their body is still developing. Stretching the shoulders, wrists, forearms, and torso will ensure that injuries will be prevented at a young age.

Have A Good Flexibility Training Program

Working on flexibility during your training program will ensure that you will not have a reduced range of motion that can cause a sudden snap in your ligaments. Ensure that you are following a progressive flexibility routine both pre- and post-game in order for your mechanical movements to be optimized to their full potential.

Abiding by The Pitch Counts

Some baseball players overwork their bodies by pitching too much and end up hurting themselves. Experts recommend that pitchers, especially the young ones, stick to a preset number of pitches in order to prevent their body from failing due to stress injuries and overuse. You want to steer clear from pitching if your body is not healed before each outing.

By abiding by these simple tips, you’ll be able to avoid over-straining your UCL and hopefully not ever undergo the Tommy John Surgery. Remember, a game will only just be a game. It isn’t worth sacrificing your health and physical body just to pitch an extra few balls during each training. Train smart and stay safe!