Proper preparation critical to prevent in-season throwing injuries

I almost drove off the road when I heard White Sox Manager Tony La Russa talking about his concern for Major League Baseball (MLB) pitchers throwing too hard or too fast too soon to make up for lost time with a shortened spring training caused by the owners’ lockout. According to La Russa, he and Sox coaches are considering many options to lengthen their pitchers’ preparation time and shorten their throwing time including a six-man rotation and using pitch counts when the season starts. He added they will decide once everyone is assessed in training camp.

It was refreshing to hear the slow and easy message coming from a MLB manager. That has been my mantra since I started practice 20 years ago. As an orthopaedic shoulder surgeon and sports medicine specialist, I’ve lost count of the times I’ve cautioned throwers, coaches and even players’ parents about the importance of working gradually into a full game pitch count and building pitch types, especially when a thrower is coming off an overuse injury.

To help, I developed throwing guidelines for all age groups that I’m happy to share. Just email and provide the age of the athlete(s).

Hopefully the importance the pro teams are giving to this issue will make a lasting impression as it always should be a concern for every baseball team and thrower, amateur and professional. And, if a player’s arm becomes painful at any time, stop throwing and consult a physician to get an accurate diagnosis so the correct treatment and rehabilitation can be started.

For an appointment with me, call my office 630-324-0402, or on Saturdays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., visit either of our Westmont or Joliet Immediate Care Clinics. No appointment is necessary and there are no, or short wait times compared to an emergency room and the cost is the same as an office visit. Just be sure to tell the Clinic you are my patient so I receive the office notes and any X-rays.

Western Springs Office

Wed: 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

4700 Gilbert Avenue, Suite 51
Western Springs, Illinois 60558
Phone: 630-324-0402
Fax: 630-920-2382


Steven Chudik MD Shoulder and Knee Injury Clinic.

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