An Injury Prevention Program for Overhead Athletes

Sports medicine physicians and athletic trainers are troubled by the rising number of young overhead athletes (baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis, volleyball players) with shoulder and elbow injuries caused by overuse. It often begins with arm pain, tendonitis and loss of function and performance related to the shoulder and elbow.

Research supports these concerns.  A recent study published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine found that 75 percent of baseball players, ages eight to eighteen, experience arm pain, yet they continue to play because of pressure from coaches and parents. And, according to the American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine, there has been a more than a five-fold increase in the number of serious shoulder and elbow injuries among youth baseball and softball players since 2000.

Shoulder and elbow overuse injuries in athletes are often the result of repetitive motion that causes trauma to the tendons, ligaments and joints. The symptoms can sometimes be subtle, making them challenging to diagnose and treat. For example, untreated shoulder tendonitis in a young athlete can lead to serious shoulder issues in adulthood.

That’s why the Illinois Athletic Trainers Association (IATA) and sports medicine physicians at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush (MOR), have teamed up to help prevent shoulder and elbow injuries from occurring. “Shoulders for Life” urges coaches and athletic trainers to implement shoulder and elbow injury prevention programs for athletes at risk.

Patient back to sports after rotator cuff repair including stem cell – Dr. Brian Cole
Phil Canfield, a busy, active Chicago businessman, discovered that he was suffering from a rotator cuff repair (shoulder). After consulting with his Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush sports medicine physician, Dr. Brian Cole, he opted to incorporate stem cells into the surgical procedure to potentially enhance his outcome..

MLB Pitch Count Documentary
Dr. Adam Yanke, sports medicine physician at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, discusses need for high school and college coaches to frequently rotate pitchers during baseball games to prevent them from having shoulder injuries later in life.

Patient back to work after PRP for tennis elbow
Bill Belmonte owns and operates a busy furniture refinishing business in suburban Chicago. Because he does much of the work himself, a working, pain-free elbow is critical to his livelihood. When lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) affected his work, he sought advice from Dr. Nikhil Verma at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. Dr. Verma suggested he try a biologic treatment called platelet rich plasma injections (PRP) to reduce the inflammation and ideally alleviate the pain.

NBC 5 Sports Injury Report: Dr. Mark Cohen, hand, wrist and elbow specialist, talks about Tommy John surgery to treat medial epicondylitis, a common injury among baseball pitchers.

Softball Pitchers At Risk

Preventing Shoulder and Elbow Overuse Syndrome

Injury Prevention Exercises

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