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.

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    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.

About Sports Medicine

Sports and physical activity bring with them a potential for injury. If you are looking to prevent, treat, or rehabilitate a sports injury – or improve athletic performance – UPMC Sports Medicine and the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program can help. We serve athletes and active people of all ages and experience levels. Our experts partner with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pitt Panthers, and about 100 other high school, college, and regional teams and events throughout Pennsylvania – working daily to build better athletes.