They say practice makes perfect. While throwing over and over will help a pitcher perfect their technique and help the team make it to home plate, this repetition puts baseball players at risk for hyperextension. Fortunately, there are ways to heal and prevent hyperextension so players can stay on the field longer and healthier.
WHAT CAUSES HYPEREXTENSION?
Unlike injuries that come from a landing wrong or falling, hyperextension is an injury that develops over time from repetitive overhand throwing. This action causes high stress on the elbow and, when repeated many times, can lead to an overuse injury like hyperextension. This leaves pitchers, or any players that participate in a repetitive overhand throwing, at risk.
HOW TO RECOVER FROM HYPEREXTENSION
If players currently suffer from hyperextension, it does not mean that they have to put the gloves and bat up forever. Instead, following the R.I.C.E method in addition to following the advice of medical professionals will help players heal and get back on the field faster.
- Rest: While it may not be fun to take time away from the game, rest is a crucial first step to recovering from a hyperextended elbow. For the first few days after getting injured, players should avoid flexing or extending their elbow as much as possible.
- Ice: Applying an ice pack wrapped in cloth to the affected area for 10-20 minutes every few hours for the first few days after the injury will help reduce swelling. Avoid placing ice directly to the skin.
- Compression: Applying compression will also help reduce severe swelling and promote circulation to increase blood flow.
- Elevation: Elevating the injured elbow above heart level will help prevent and relieve swelling, especially if done in the first couple days after the injury. An injured player can elevate their elbow on pillows when lying down or on cushions when sitting. A sling can also help elevate the elbow when on the go.
HOW TO PREVENT HYPEREXTENSION
Whether a player has healed from elbow hyperextension or want to prevent the injury, wearing an elbow brace during games and practices will protect their elbow from future or recurring injuries without hindering performance.
The Bauerfeind Sports Elbow Brace protects the elbow from hyperextension during throwing and overhead movements frequently seen in baseball. With smooth cushioning during movement and the Boa Fastening System, the Sports Elbow Brace provides maximum custom comfort. When a player throws the ball, the preset tension of the brace takes place and triggers a counter-reaction in the forearm muscles to balance out the force of the movement and move stress away from the joint. This will help players enter each game confidently and safely.