Common Baseball Running Injuries

Common Baseball Running Injuries
By Fara Rosenzweig

We welcome spring baseball with the crack of the bat, yet that can also welcome cracked bones and other lower-extremity baseball-related injuries.

In baseball, there’s lots, and lots, and lots of running. Whether fielding the ball or running the bases, leg injuries occur ranging from simple bruises and blisters to sprains, foot injuries, and ligament tears or ruptures.

To return to the diamond as quickly and safely as possible, it’s important to know common baseball running injuries, learn how to treat and prevent lower-extremity injuries associated to running.

Common Baseball Running Injuries

  • Blisters
  • Bruises/Abrasions
  • Shin splints
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Pulled hamstring/groin/quadriceps
  • Rolled/twisted ankle
  • ACL/MCL tear
  • Runner’s knee (Patellofemoral pain syndrome—PFPS)
  • Meniscus tear/torn knee cartilage
  • Knee tendonitis or rupture

Blister, Bruises, and Sprains

Simple fielding like tagging a player, a ball bounce to the shin or running into a player when trying to catch a fly ball, can lead to uncomfortable bruises and sprains. Unfortunately, there’s not much to do other than P.R.I.C.E and time to allow for the injury to heal. In addition, it’s important for players to always practice safe fielding techniques and call “ball” when catching a fly ball. This can help prevent irritating bruises and sprains.

From compression sleeves and braces to hot and cold therapy, at-home care is essential to heal these minor injuries. Without adequate rest, time and care, these injuries can lead to fractures, broken bones or torn ligaments.

Shin splints, Plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendinitis

Bruises, abrasions and minor sprains happen, but baseball players can suffer from a lot of the same lower-extremity injuries as runners like shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendinitis—especially when running in the outfield or running the bases.

One of the best preventative measures an athlete should take is wearing proper footwear. Orthotics, compression socks or sleeves can help alleviate foot pain and prevent it from worsening. Proper running technique and foot stretches should always be taught and completed post workout or games. A massage ball (like the Hypersphere Vibrating Massage Ball) can also help prevent foot injuries.

ACL, MCL, Meniscus and Knee Cartilage

The worst-case lower-body injuries are the dreaded knee injuries. Ligament tears, like ACL or MCL, and meniscus damage can bench a player for the season. These injuries are common when quick stop and start motions like twisting, pivoting, decelerating take place or sudden impact. The cleat gets stuck in the grass when the player quickly turns to catch the ball or rounding the base to a sudden stop … these scenarios are common results in torn ligaments.

Sometimes surgery is needed to heal an ACL or MCL injury. Time, rehab and bracing will treat and help prevent future re-injury.

Knee Tendonitis or Rupture

Inflammation of a tendon (a flexible band of tissue that connects the muscles to the bones) is typically due to overuse. Knee tendonitis pain is where the patellar tendon and the bone meet (just under the kneecap). There are several tendons around the knee area. When one or more of them becomes inflamed then knee tendinitis usually occurs. If not dealt with, rehab and proper bracing, then tendon rupture can happen.

To treat inflammation, knee compression sleeves (like the TriZone Knee Support) are encouraged to wear, as well as hot and cold therapy.

Proper rest, warm-ups, and conditioning can help treat and prevent lower-extremity baseball injuries. It’s important to always use good technique and play by the rules. Make sure baseball bases are sturdy and always do a cool down to stay healthy.