2019 college softball season coming to its exciting conclusion just a few months ago,
fans of this unique American pastime are more excited than ever to see their favorite
players or even to get out onto the field themselves. While playing softball is an excellent way to
get in shape and improve skills like hand-eye coordination, the specialized
movements and exercises required to play the game well can definitely be hard
on the spine. If you or someone you know
plays softball, here are a few tips from Resurgens Spine Center to help them
protect their spine as they pursue the thrill of athletic competition.
Do a Proper Warm-up Every Time
What's true of every sport also applies to softball: doing a proper warm-up is crucial to protecting the muscles, bones, and joints from injury.For softball players, it's a good idea to stretch before every practice and every game, and doing some light exercise like throwing the ball around or running the bases can help loosen up the muscles and joints so they're less likely to become injured under stress.For specific warm-up exercises and stretches for softball players, talk to your coach and your doctor to work out a light exercise program that will be appropriate for your age and skill level.
Don't Play with Pain
In the heat of competition, it's easy to get caught up in the moment and head out onto the field with an injury.If you want to prevent softball injuries, it's important to listen to what your body is telling you; pain is your body's way of telling you something is wrong.If you feel pain in your spine or anywhere else in your body, it's crucial that you sit out until a doctor can determine what's wrong.Whether it's a practice, a game, or you're just tossing the ball around in the backyard, pain is a sign that you could be seriously injured.Continuing to play in that condition could make your injury even worse, potentially ending your playing days for good.
Observe Guidelines for Rest Periods and Age-Appropriate Pitches
Here's some advice for softball pitchers, who are probably subjected to more spinal twisting than any other player on the field.Doctors recommend pitching in games no more than three consecutive days without a rest period.For younger people, only 2 days of consecutive pitching are recommended.In addition, doctors have developed guidelines related to the number of pitches that should be thrown in a game and which pitches are appropriate to be thrown at various ages.Softball players, especially those who are under the age of 15, should speak to a doctor about these guidelines before playing to ensure they will be safe out there on the field.
At Resurgens Spine Center, we think playing softball is an excellent way for people of all ages to get some beneficial physical activity, and beyond that, it's just a lot of fun. If you're playing softball, we want you to stay safe and injury free, so follow the tips above and you'll be less likely to sit out the next softball season due to an injury.