Knee Injuries in Baseball | What to Do When It Happens to You
You’re sliding to home when all of a sudden you hear a gruesome “pop” in your kneecap and pain starts shooting up your leg like a lightning bolt. Or maybe you’ve been playing great games all season, but for some reason you’ve noticed soreness in your legs that wasn’t there before. Little by little, bending down to pick up a bunt becomes an uncomfortable strain. These aren’t uncommon situations for ballplayers, and they happen to the best of us.
Knee injuries and baseball go together like bad luck and parking tickets, but that doesn’t mean they have to happen to you. Read on to learn about some common knee ailments, how to recover if you fall prey to them, and how to keep them from messing up your game in the first place.
Let’s get one of the nastiest injuries out of the way first. Many a budding athletic career has been foiled by the dreaded ACL tear, and as far as baseball knee injuries go it can be a devastating one. An ACL tear is a rupture in an important knee ligament that usually occurs from heavy impact or a rapid weight shift, like a sudden rounding to second base.
You can prevent ACL tears by making sure you’re keeping your lower extremities flexible and making turns using proper form as opposed to jerky, sudden motions. A lateral stabilizer knee brace can also go a long way to making sure stress is evenly distributed throughout the lower body, taking some of the pressure off the knee to do all the (literal) heavy lifting.
Another of the most common baseball injuries is runner’s knee, known more technically as patellofemoral syndrome. The colloquial name for it can be a bit misleading: runner’s knee is essentially a soreness surrounding the kneecaps that can happen to anyone who puts too much pressure on the knees. In baseball circles, this is sometimes known as “catcher’s knee” and can cause a lot of pain.
You can avoid this one by making sure your thigh muscles are conditioned and that you’re wearing good running shoes; people with fallen arches are more susceptible to runner’s knee, so make sure you’re using the right equipment. Heel lifts can be your best friend.
This is one of those knee injuries that’s unfortunately common among baseball players and is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. The patella is a small bone that sits at the front of the kneecap and acts as an important defensive barrier for your knee joint. Patella fractures are no joke: they’re incredibly painful at best and can even make it impossible for you to walk or hold your leg properly in its socket at worst.
Some patella fractures can be solved with a simple dose of rest and physical therapy, but the hairier cases have been known to require surgery to fix. This is one baseball knee injury you shouldn’t mess around with. A good knee pad can not only reduce the risk of a patella fracture but also protect your joints against the pain of catcher’s knee.
Less serious than an ACL tear or patella fracture but a bit more troublesome than a simple sprain, the meniscus tear is another common ailment that afflicts outfielders and those who round bases at sudden intervals. Meniscus tears will often occur in concert with other knee injuries and can be heralded by the sound of an unpleasant popping noise.
As far as knee injuries in baseball go, this one is common but painful. As with ACL tears, it’s important to practice proper form when rounding bases and diving for pop flies, thus distributing dynamic strain as evenly as possible across your lower body. Rest is always helpful for a meniscus tear, and cold therapy has been known to achieve therapeutic results as well.
It’s all too easy to overwork and under-care for the muscles surrounding your knees, creating a painful problem that can cause you to miss more than a few games. Though more commonly associated with the thigh muscles, the ligaments and muscles around your knees are also susceptible to injuries in baseball.
Take care not simply to stretch and condition your leg muscles but to stay hydrated as well: water makes your muscles and joints far more flexible, and the more ease of mobility they have, the less susceptible they’ll be to muscle sprains, the pain of catcher’s knee and other ailments. A flexible elastic brace will work wonders for helping your leg muscles function in harmony.
Get the Best Protection Products
Your knees are hardy and they’re made to carry and withstand a lot, but they aren’t invincible and neither are you. Luckily, SportsBraces.com carries everything you need to keep your next baseball game free of knee injuries and help up your game as well. These products aren’t just for healing and injury prevention; many of them provide an astonishing range of motion most bodies can’t achieve without assistance. Even able-bodied athletes will find that our sturdy braces help them play better than ever before!
Our store is constantly offering great new inventory, and our blog is regularly updated with handy guides just like this one to help you keep your body intact and play your best on the regular. Knee injuries don’t have to affect baseball for you or your family ever again. Shop SportsBraces.com today.
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