Protective Braces for Baseball Players

Baseball player diving for ball

With the spring sports season slowly approaching, lots of athletes will be gearing up to improve their skills and try out for their favorite teams. For the individuals who are planning to play baseball, there are lots of ways to prepare, like increasing their strength, flexibility and speed.

Baseball has become a very popular sport over the years, and, as a result of this popularity, the skill requirements have only gotten tougher. Baseball players need to be faster, stronger, and more coordinated in order to compete for spots on the best teams. While these changes have certainly made the game more interesting, the increased skill requirements could be part of the reason for more intense injuries in players.

Some of the most common injuries in baseball players include knee injuries (ACL and MCL, specifically), muscle sprains, rotator cuff tears, and spondylolysis. A lot of these injuries are caused by repetitive injuries, such as pitching, swinging, running and lunging.

The fast pace of the game often puts a lot of strain on the body, so it’s important for baseball players to protect themselves as much as possible. For added protection around areas that are prone to injury, players should consider protective braces. The following are some of the protective braces for baseball that focus on specific body parts that need that extra support for comfort and safety.

Knee Injuries

ACL and MCL injuries are common in baseball players, often due to the aggressive movements required of the knees. Sprinting, pushing off, changing direction, and diving are all common movements in baseball, and it’s important to keep the patella supported during these actions.

There is a wide variety of protective knee braces for baseball players, and all are designed differently for specific purposes. While some will protect pre-existing injuries with a hinged design, others may offer basic compression around the patella in a wrap-style brace.

The purpose of the knee brace is to take added pressure off of the kneecap and keep the surrounding muscles in their designated positions. Regardless of the position, a knee brace is very helpful for keeping the bones and muscles from being taxed by excessive loads, and it distributes pressure evenly.

Hely and Weber KUHL Knapp Hinged Knee

This knee brace is helpful for all different kinds of kneecap instabilities. The design is ideal for MCL and LCL repairs, but it can also be used for mild to moderate ACL and PCL sprains. The material itself is made of perforated neoprene, which prevents moisture buildup and chaffing. Working to provide both support and comfort, the brace provides compression around the knee while still offering a full range of motion and unhindered performance.

Baseball player swinging bat at pitched ball

Shoulder Injuries

It’s no secret that those individuals who are in the pitcher position for baseball will undergo a lot of overuse from their pitching arm. It’s been found that there are significantly more pitches per baseball game than there were thirty years ago, which means pitchers are constantly working to keep their pitching arms in good health. It also means that these players are under a lot more stress to perform consistently, in order to avoid overuse, injury, and even termination.

Torn rotator cuffs are quite a popular injury in baseball, especially in pitchers. The repetitive motion can cause the muscles around the shoulder to wear down, and over time, they could start to tear. Protective shoulder braces in their simplest form can help to apply compression to the area and can remove pain and discomfort associated with sprains and strains. More detailed shoulder braces will provide immobilization or a specific range of motion to protect the area during repair.

McDavid Universal Shoulder Support

This universal brace is equipped with an adjustable shoulder strap and pockets, which can be used to slide in hot and cool packs or extra padding. The design is great for immobilizing the shoulder and offering relief for sprains, strains, bursitis, and tendonitis.

Baseball player catching ball with mitt

Lower Back Injuries

The motion of swinging, pitching, and throwing can often lead to lower back injuries for baseball players. These injuries can be extremely uncomfortable during play and should be addressed early to offer relief. A protective lower back brace for baseball players can apply added compression to the lumbar area, extra warmth to keep the muscles flexible, and soft tissue support.

Lower back braces are ideal to keep the back muscles relaxed and flexible during play to discourage them from becoming stiff and sore.

Conclusion

Braces are a great tool for baseball players who are looking to gain some extra support or who want to protect a pre-existing injury. Braces that are ideal for baseball include braces for the shoulder, knees, hands, and lower back. If you’re not sure what kind of brace you need, consider speaking with a sports doctor or family doctor first to decide what brace will suit your needs best.

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