Youth baseball players experiencing more preventable arm injuries, study warns

New York – Preventable arm injuries are increasing among young baseball players in ways that resemble the concussion crisis seen in football, according to a new study from Columbia University Medical Center.

Of the 203 baseball players ages 8 to 18 from New York and New Jersey who completed a questionnaire, nearly three-quarters reported having some arm pain while throwing the ball, the researchers found.

“The likely explanation is that they’re throwing too much, too early, putting increasing demands on their bodies that their bodies are not ready for,” lead study author Dr. Christopher Ahmad said in a press release.

Ahmad has observed that, in football, players who suffer a concussion are sent back into the game after only a few minutes, lowering the threshold for another concussion. Also, repeated concussions can lead to permanent damage. A similar problem is developing in baseball, Ahmad said, where current precautions and guidelines are inadequate and arm pain could eventually lead to more serious injuries.

The study was published online Nov. 3 in the American Journal of Sports Medicine.