Why are Little League injuries skyrocketing?

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) - Doctors have been noticing a disturbing trend.  Kids that play baseball are getting more and more serious injuries. 

In fact, one estimate finds that doctors are now seeing 16 times more serious injuries than they did 30 years ago. Many of these injuries require shoulder surgery.

A Beaumont-led national study has answers as to why.

Beaumont orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist Joseph Guettler, M.D. led the three year study. 

 

"It became very clear that dangerous pitching behavior is occurring among pitchers as young as little league all the way through their high school years," says Dr. Guettler.  "And, the blame doesn't usually lie with the leagues or coaches. Most were found to be adhering to nationally recognized guidelines for pitch limits and rest. It seems much of the blame lies with behavior of parents and their kids."

Beaumont says the study found several things they did that lead to an increased risk of injury.

  1. Pitching for more than one team during the same season
  2. Pitching more than one game during the same day
  3. Pitching on back-to-back days
  4. Pitching in a league without pitch counts or playing year-round
  5. Throwing curve balls before high school

Dr. Guettler says when talking to players who were injured doctors learned they often played through injuries.  He says if your child says they are tired or sore after pitching, make them rest.

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