Common Baseball Injuries
The most common types of tendonitis are frequently experienced by baseball players, and so they are named after common sports.
- Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is caused by damage to the tendons that allow you to bend your wrist up and away from your palm. The symptoms are pain along the backside and thumb side of the forearm, especially when the arm is down beside the body with the thumb turned out as if holding a tennis racquet. Baseball players can get “tennis elbow” from too much batting practice.
- Golfer or baseball elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is caused by damage to the tendons that allow you to bend your wrist down and towards your palm. The symptoms are pain from the elbow to the wrist along the inside or palm side of the forearm. Baseball players often experience this as “throwers elbow”, and it can happen to pitchers, catchers, infielders and outfielders.
- Biceps or triceps tendonitis is caused by inflammation of tendons in the upper arm. Upper biceps tendonitis can cause pain in the shoulder capsule, and may be related to a rotator cuff injury or tear. Lower biceps and triceps injuries cause pain in the elbow. Pitchers are more likely to suffer from rotator cuff injuries involving the upper biceps tendon.
Baseball players are also subject to impingement of the elbow or shoulder, also caused by overuse of the joint due to batting and throwing. Impingement can cause “freezing” of the shoulder or elbow, swelling, and intense pain.
- Shoulder impingement may be caused by tendonitis or bursitis. When the fluid filled sac around the tendon (the bursa) is inflamed, the space inside the joint lessens and everything inside the joint becomes compressed, causing pain and loss of mobility.
- Elbow impingement, also known as pitchers’ elbow, is caused by repeated over-extension that causes the ends of the bones to slam back into each other inside the joint. This can cause soft tissue and cartilage damage, and enable bone spurs to develop, causing the elbow to lock or grate.