Knowledge of Injury Prevention and Prevalence of Risk Factors for Throwing Injuries in a Sample of Youth Baseball Players.

Authors: Bohne C, George SZ, Zeppieri G

Information on baseball injury prevention and pitch count recommendations is growing, however, the incidence of throwing injuries continues to rise. This study is the first to assess knowledge of safe throwing guidelines and risk factors from the perspective of youth athletes.  The purpose of this study wass two-fold: (1) to evaluate knowledge of safe throwing guidelines and (2) to assess the reporting of risk factors for throwing injuries in a sample of youth baseball players.  A 35-question survey was developed with questions related to knowledge of injury prevention, presence of risk factors associated with throwing injuries, and understanding and compliance with USA Baseball Medical & Safety Advisory Committee (USA BMSAC) overhead throwing guidelines.  Respondents demonstrated variability in their knowledge of the USA BMSAC guidelines related to throwing frequencies. The 13-16 year old age group displayed the least knowledge of USA BMSAC guidelines. The 9-10 and 11-12 year old age groups demonstrated the greatest knowledge of recommended BMSAC guidelines. Eighty-five (82/98) percent of the respondents reported that they had never heard of the USA BMSAC guidelines. Sixty-two percent (59/98) disagreed with the statement, “The more you throw, the more likely you are to get an injury”. Fifty-seven percent of respondents (39/98) indicated that they would not seek medical help if they experienced a tired or sore arm during a game. The results of this study suggest that young baseball players demonstrate the need for education on the following topics: the USA Baseball Medical and Safety Advisory Committee throwing guidelines, risk factors for developing throwing-related injuries, the long-term implications of playing with an injured or fatigued arm, and the benefit of seeking medical help when fatigue or soreness is experienced in the throwing arm.

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