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Common Baseball Pitching Injuries and Where They Strike


WRITTEN BY: Sports Medicine
Friday, February 12th, 2016

Despite being a relatively stationary position, baseball pitching injuries are quite common. The repetitive throwing motion makes pitchers as prone to injuries as any other player on the field. Although pitchers can develop injuries within the lower body, majority of the problems develop within their throwing arm. The most common baseball pitching injuries tend to involve the rotator cuff or the elbow.

Check out our infographic below to see where the injury is most likely to occur.

pitching infographic
  1. Oblique Strains

The oblique muscle runs the length of the torso and helps the body rotate, making it essential to a pitcher’s delivery. Oblique strains typically involve six to eight weeks of recovery.

  1. Labral Tears

Also knows as a Superior Labrum Anterior to Posterior or SLAP tear, this injury occurs when the labrum (the tissue that helps stabilize the joint) is injured and is characterized by pain deep in the shoulder.

  1. Elbow Tendinitis

Tendinitis can affect multiple areas of a pitcher’s arm, but most commonly occurs in the elbow. Recovery time is based on severity, but athletes are typically able to return to a healthy status within a few weeks.

  1. Ulnal Collateral Ligament Reconstruction (Tommy John Surgery)

This condition is a result of the repetitive use of the elbow. This procedure, named after professional pitcher Tommy John, can take up to one year to recover.

  1. Rotator Cuff Tendinitis

This injury occurs as a result of tissue in the rotator cuff being irritated from overuse or degenerations, and may result in difficulty fully rotating the arm without pain.

For more information on sports injuries and rehabilitation, visit the UPMC Sports Medicine website.

Sports Medicine

UPMC Sports Medicine is the region’s largest and most experienced program dedicated to treating, training, and inspiring athletes at levels, in all sports. Our physicians, surgeons, physical therapists, athletic trainers, sports nutrition, and sports performance experts are dedicated to helping athletes and active people recover from injuries, and even prevent them. Read More