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Keeping Our Softball Pitchers Safe

Danielle DeGiorgio DO

How many times have we heard softball pitching is a “natural” motion? This is one of the reasons that although there has been a pitch count created for baseball, no rules have been put in place to limit pitches thrown by our young female athletes. Studies show, softball pitchers on average throw between 1200-2000 pitches / season. This of course does not take into account weekend tournaments, showcases, pitching lessons and practice. Due to lack of normative data, rules which will reduce injury are difficult to create. This leaves our softball pitchers at risk for not only acute injuries, but overuse injuries as well. However, basic sports hygiene can surely optimize a less than ideal environment. First, remember the basics: stay hydrated, eat clean and sleep like a champion! Secondly, a good active warm up gets the body ready to perform. Remember, it is not “all about the arm.” The lower extremity generates more than half of the throwing force and improperly released from the body, it can lead to pretty significant injury. Therefore, don’t just throw to warm up. Thirdly, good postural muscle training goes a long way. Core, trunk and shoulder stabilizers enhance the delivery of the pitch and allow smooth transition into fielding position. And let’s face it, with only 43ft between the mound and the batter, you have to be ready. Lastly, all pain should be addressed at the onset. As a sports medicine specialist and former D1 softball prospect, there is nothing worse than having to take someone out of the game. Getting ahead of an injury is the best chance we have at keeping someone on the field.

If you would like to know more about getting game ready in a safe way, please call to make an appointment with Dr. DeGiorgio Ext. 2204.