Breaking News
January 17, 2019 - Pre-injury exercise reduces damage to both muscles and nerves, study finds
January 17, 2019 - Minimizing Antibody Size to Maximize Research Potential
January 17, 2019 - Research finds large genome in tiny forest defoliator
January 17, 2019 - Technology helps reduce the yearning for unhealthy food
January 17, 2019 - New Drug Application for Insomnia Disorder Treatment Lemborexant Submitted in the United States
January 17, 2019 - What you should know about teeth whitening
January 17, 2019 - Why Older Adults Should Eat More Protein (And Not Overdo Protein Shakes)
January 17, 2019 - Colorectal cancer mortality rates predicted to increase globally
January 17, 2019 - Scientists discover mutational signatures of tumor hypoxia
January 17, 2019 - New evidence shows how fever alters immune cells
January 17, 2019 - Researchers find new class of blood pressure-regulating peptides in vampire bat venom
January 17, 2019 - Promega to exhibit new Maxwell RSC48 platform at 2019 Festival of Genomics
January 17, 2019 - Study pinpoints immune cells that could be key to tackling hypertension
January 17, 2019 - Couples Intervention May Aid Partners of Diabetes Patients
January 17, 2019 - Your weight history may predict your heart failure risk
January 17, 2019 - Explore a cornucopia of accomplishments in prematurity research
January 17, 2019 - New study identifies four characteristics that predict severity of postpartum depression
January 17, 2019 - New, scalpel-free treatment for reducing Parkinson’s tremor gets FDA approval
January 17, 2019 - Neurobiologists uncover key component of how the human brain marks time
January 17, 2019 - LifeTime receives fund to develop a plan to embed its vision for healthier future
January 17, 2019 - WTC first responders at higher risk for head and neck cancers, study finds
January 17, 2019 - New NSF funded study may help physicians decrease brain injury deaths
January 17, 2019 - Ham bones contain peptides that could have cardioprotective effects
January 17, 2019 - Research finds how Candida albicans adapt to low oxygen levels to cause infection
January 17, 2019 - Cobra Biologics announces appointment of Dr Darrell Sleep as Director of Innovation
January 17, 2019 - Cellular protein that interacts with viruses appears to enable infection process of Zika virus
January 17, 2019 - Opioids Now More Deadly for Americans Than Traffic Accidents
January 17, 2019 - Women who start periods early are at greater risk of cardiovascular problems
January 17, 2019 - The brain-circuitry clash that keeps you from diving into that plate of ribs when you’re dining with royalty
January 17, 2019 - Poo transplant can successfully treat patients with ulcerative colitis
January 17, 2019 - Study suggests key role for glial cells in Parkinson’s disease
January 17, 2019 - Educational videos in clinical settings increase HPV vaccination rates among adolescents
January 17, 2019 - Better understanding of aggressive brain tumour
January 17, 2019 - Why is life expectancy in the U.S. going down? A Q&A
January 17, 2019 - The Electronics Industry Sees Money In Your Health
January 17, 2019 - Hypertension drug may improve effectiveness of ovarian cancer treatment
January 17, 2019 - Scientists reveal key mechanism in worms that controls cell’s response to stress
January 17, 2019 - How Patch Clamp Technology Can Benefit Ion Channel Research
January 16, 2019 - Researchers cultivate organoids that perfectly mimic blood vessels
January 16, 2019 - Sound Pharmaceuticals Advances Phase 2 Hearing Loss Clinical Trial in Cystic Fibrosis
January 16, 2019 - Unraveling the genetic causes of skin cancer
January 16, 2019 - Higher percentages of saturated fat in low-carb diets may not harm cholesterol levels, new analysis suggests
January 16, 2019 - Using bottled or tap water impacts health benefits of green tea
January 16, 2019 - Best trained alert dogs have potential to improve Type 1 diabetes patients’ quality of life
January 16, 2019 - States with lower incidence of melanoma have higher mortality rates
January 16, 2019 - Pollution on the London Underground found to be dangerously high
January 16, 2019 - Breast cancer cells in mice coaxed to turn into harmless fat cells
January 16, 2019 - Study connects the genetic background of autistic spectrum disorders with stem cell dysfunction
January 16, 2019 - When activated, ‘social’ brain circuits inhibit feeding behavior in mice | News Center
January 16, 2019 - How Exercise May Help Keep Our Memory Sharp
January 16, 2019 - Researchers identify a key regulator that stops excessive inflammation
January 16, 2019 - TGF-beta signaling pathway in uterine cells protects against cancer
January 16, 2019 - MD Anderson Cancer Center collaborates with Dragonfly for new immunotherapy drug clinical trials
January 16, 2019 - Drug Repurposing May Provide More Psychiatric Tx Options
January 16, 2019 - A new brain imaging study challenges the dominant theoretical model of autism spectrum disorders
January 16, 2019 - GoFundMe CEO: ‘Gigantic Gaps’ In Health System Showing Up In Crowdfunding
January 16, 2019 - Induced neuronal cells derived from fibroblasts are similar to neurons in the brain
January 16, 2019 - New study finds link between childhood abuse and suicide in later life
January 16, 2019 - Lifestyle and health factors that are good for the heart can also prevent diabetes
January 16, 2019 - Scientists take another step in understanding bacteria that cause Salmonella epidemic
January 16, 2019 - Look to Your Aunts, Uncles and Parents for Clues to Your Longevity
January 16, 2019 - Study finds ADHD drugs are unlikely to cause cardiac damage in children who take them
January 16, 2019 - Call The Midwife! (If The Doctor Doesn’t Object)
January 16, 2019 - Changes in hippocampal structural connectivity differentiate responders of electroconvulsive therapy
January 16, 2019 - Study sheds light on the deadly venom of Mojave rattlesnakes
January 16, 2019 - University of Nebraska to develop new drugs that prevent and counteract effects of radiation exposure
January 16, 2019 - Sugar-based stent makes precarious sewing process easier
January 16, 2019 - FDA-approved drug hampers cancer metastasis in animal model, shows study
January 16, 2019 - Memories of past meals influence future food intake in rats
January 16, 2019 - Low-level cannabis use can change the adolescent brain
January 16, 2019 - MTC in Rouen acquires Robocath’s R-One robot for future healthcare practitioner training
January 16, 2019 - OSSIO granted FDA 510(k) market clearance for OSSIOfiber Bone Pin Family
January 16, 2019 - Childhood body composition may play a role in future respiratory health
January 16, 2019 - Outdated commissioning methods are failing mental health services in the UK, reveals report
January 16, 2019 - Unconventional immune cells trigger disturbed cytokine production in human spondyloarthritis
January 16, 2019 - Patients Turn To GoFundMe When Money And Hope Run Out
January 16, 2019 - Researchers develop novel viral identification method
January 16, 2019 - Study proposes improvements in pharmacological study of cognitive function enhancers in schizophrenia
January 16, 2019 - Study points to potential new biomarker and drug target for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
January 16, 2019 - Differences in geographic origin of genes may affect mitochondrial function
To Prevent Injuries in Young Baseball Players, Chris Ahmad Reaches Out to Parents

To Prevent Injuries in Young Baseball Players, Chris Ahmad Reaches Out to Parents

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Two new books from Columbia surgeon Christopher Ahmad, MD, advise young baseball players, their coaches, and parents how to avoid serious injuries. Photo: New York Yankees Partnership / All Rights Reserved.

As head physician for the New York Yankees, Columbia surgeon Christopher S. Ahmad, MD, treats elite athletes, all-stars, and celebrities known around the world. But he has always felt a special responsibility for the game’s young athletes.

“They’re not getting paid to play this game, and they’re hopefully playing for fun, even if they aspire to be professionals one day,” Ahmad says. “It’s concerning to see how more and more kids are getting hurt, especially young pitchers.”

Since 2000, the rate of pitching-related injuries among Little League and high school players has doubled, and the number of high school students undergoing ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction surgery–commonly known as Tommy John surgery–has increased 700 percent.

Ahmad has worked for years to train other doctors and sports medicine specialists about injury prevention, but his practice continues to see an increase in the number of young athletes needing surgery.

In two new books published in the past year, Ahmad has turned his educational efforts to the most influential figures to young athletes–their parents and coaches. He hopes the books–“Understanding Tommy John Surgery and How to Avoid It: A Guide for Young Baseball Players” and “Play Ball: Don’t Let Injuries Sideline You This Season”–will help reduce the rate of youth baseball injuries.

 

Pitching motion is most complex and forceful motion in sports

Photo: Getty Images

“The pitching motion is the most complex and forceful movement among athletes of all sports, requiring coordination of close to 100 muscles, bones, and soft tissue structures. The repetitive throwing motion challenges the strength and durability of these tissues and leads to predictable injury patterns in pitchers,” Ahmad explains.

Tommy John surgery is rising among youth pitchers as high school leagues become more and more competitive. “Ten years ago, high school draft picks showed good looking elbows on their MRI scan,” says Ahmad. “Today, many of these 18-year-old players show up in the scans like 30-year-old veteran free agents.”

“Understanding Tommy John Surgery” is meant to establish awareness at the youngest ages, Ahmad says. “Players shouldn’t have shoulder or elbow pain when they play baseball, and the book encourages parents to open a discussion with their kids to let them know it is not okay to play with elbow pain.”

 

Sport specialization contributes to injuries

Sport specialization is another contributing factor to injuries, Ahmad says, and he suggests that parents encourage their children to participate in multiple sports instead of just one. “Young players should not play on multiple baseball teams so they’re pitching too much during the season,” he says, “and they must take some time off to let their bodies recover.”

Young players should not play on multiple baseball teams, and they must take some time off to let their bodies recover.

“Play Ball,” which was written in collaboration with physical therapist John Gallucci Jr., explains other overuse injury patterns in baseball and describes signs and symptoms of common injuries, including forearm strain, which often precedes tearing of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL).

“Some people think that tearing the UCL and repairing it with Tommy John surgery is inevitable,” says Ahmad. “But if you take good care of yourself, it is not inevitable. Based on research I published on the UCL, enhancing forearm muscle strength and endurance may help reduce UCL injuries.”

 

Busting myths about “Tommy John” surgery

“Play Ball” also tries to demystify some of the issues around UCL and other injuries. A common myth among youth baseball players is that Tommy John surgery improves the arm. “We believe what’s really happening is that players who undergo surgery–and who make it to the major leagues–are more committed to practice and game preparation,” Ahmad says.

Though elbow ligament injuries are still increasing, there is some good news for youth baseball players: Shoulder injury numbers are going down. The reason, Ahmad says, is an improvement in understanding how to maintain and protect the shoulders through exercise and flexibility programs. Every player participates in such programs throughout the season and it proves to be successful.

“While the elbow is not the same, we would like to see in the future similar efforts to protect the elbow,” says Ahmad. But for now, “if parents encourage their children to play basketball or other sports during the winter, limit their baseball participation to a single team, allow them to sit out games, even tournament championships, when their elbow is hurting, we will reach our goal.”

 

Christopher S. Ahmad, MD, is professor of orthopedic surgery at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and the head team physician for both the New York Yankees and New York City Football Club.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles