New findings on injuries from female fast-pitch select softball players from Washington University Orthopedics

Matthew Smith, MDInjuries among female fast-pitch select baseball players have not been well studied in the medical literature. The sports medicine group at Washington University Orthopedics recently published a series of articles providing important applications for parents and coaches of select softball players. The first article showed during a single select fast-pitch softball season, about 40% of pitchers were injured, and many were unable to return to play for more than two weeks because of their injury.

In addition, most of the injuries occurred at the beginning of the season, indicating opportunities for better off-season conditioning. The second and most recent paper, published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, examined the impact of weekend tournaments on shoulder pain during a windmill pitch and found that strength decreases over the course of the weekend  tournament while pain increases. In addition, pitchers do not recover their strength the next day, which shows there is not enough recovery time between days of a weekend tournament. Taken together, these studies help inform the importance of proper conditioning and rest to prevent injuries among fast-pitch softball players.

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