Athletic Advantage: Elbow Injuries Part Two

The elbow is one, if not the most important part of the body for overhead throwing and hitting athletes.

Athletic Trainer Jeremy Woodward says many of these athletes may suffer from an elbow overuse injury.

He says this progressive type of injury can take a long time to show up and there won't necessarily be one instance where it starts to hurt.

"You do too much for too long and you overwork that joint and you don't give it time to heal and calm down. You keep adding more and more injury and really aggravate the joint," Woodard said.

That's why Woodward says its important for athletic trainers to modify what an athlete does during the rehab process.

"We take a baseball or softball out of their hand until it gets calm down. Once they get calm down, then we start to progress back with rehab, with therapy and other things to get them return to play at their optimal level," said Woodard.

"When they lose all their pain, we'll come back and we'll put a baseball or a softball back in their hand but we will actually caoch them kind of progress them up to playing their position again," he continued.

Woodward says he works a lot with bands and rubber tubings. He says he works the muscles in the direction of pull making sure it is stretched properly and stays good and loose.

"One of the main things we want to look for is that the pain doesn't get recreated because we got that injury calm down enough that now we're actually trying their elbow and their muscles and the joint back up to put the stresses on that they did prior to injury," said Woodard.

If you think you've been injured, Woodward says go see your coach, athletic trainer or physician immediately.

He says the pain won't go away on its own, so maintenance is key, like proper warm ups and icing the elbow after strenuous use.

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