There’s a slow-motion epidemic of arm injuries happening in youth baseball, but it’s one that can be both prevented—and treated. The statistics for baseball injuries are grim:
- 30% of kids ages 9 to 19 who play baseball experience shoulder pain
- 50% of all youth pitchers reported elbow or shoulder pain
- 100% increase in pitching-related injuries from Little League to high school
- 700% increase in high schoolers undergoing UCL reconstruction surgery since 2000
Through years of working hand-in-hand, Dr. Christopher Ahmad and John Gallucci Jr., DPT have seen this recent influx in baseball injuries that require surgery followed by extensive post-operative physical therapy.
After seeing their number of surgical cases increase every year, Ahmad and Gallucci teamed up with a mission to create a true resource for coaches, parents, and athletes to use to learn more about how to prevent injuries as well as educate themselves on the recovery process if an injury is sustained.
Play Ball is their guide designed for parents, coaches, and athletes to make the best decisions possible. Written in layman’s terms, Play Ball is an easy, conversational read that will answer your most pressing concerns. Don’t let an injury sideline you or any ball player in your family.
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About the Author
The recipient of several awards for outstanding research in the field of Sports Medicine, Dr. Ahmad conducts ongoing research in the areas of ACL injury prevention and screening, biometrics of the elbow, and surgical techniques for rotator cuff shoulder instability repair. He has authored more than 200 articles and 50 book chapters related to shoulder, elbow and sports medicine and has presented over 250 lectures nationally, and internationally. Dr. Ahmad edited two influential textbooks: Minimally Invasive Shoulder and Elbow Surgery and Pediatric and Adolescent Sports Injuries.
He earned his undergraduate degree in engineering while playing four years of Division 1 varsity soccer at nationally ranked Columbia University. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and three children.
John Gallucci, Jr., MS, ATC, PT, DPT, the dynamic President and CEO of JAG Physical Therapy, is in demand for his expertise in injury prevention, rehabilitation, sports medicine, and athletic conditioning. He has appeared often on radio and television, including ESPN’s award-winning Outside the Lines, MSG Varsity, NJ News 12, and WFAN. Gallucci is a popular public speaker.
Gallucci has made a major impact in his fields throughout the New York/New Jersey area, and holds a national presence in the sports medicine community. JAG Physical Therapy now offers comprehensive orthopedic outpatient centers in West Orange, Warren, Cedar Knolls, Union, Hackensack, Woodbridge, Fairfield, Old Bridge, Holmdel, Chatham and Princeton, New Jersey, as well as Sleepy Hollow, Yonkers, Hawthorne, and New York, NY.
Currently, John is the Medical Coordinator for Major League Soccer (MLS), coordinating the medical care of more than 500 professional soccer players. Gallucci is the former Head Trainer of the New York Red Bulls MLS team and is a Sports Medicine consultant for professional athletes in the NHL, NFL, NBA, MLB, and USA Wrestling. John has also worked in the Athletic Departments of Columbia University, New York University, and Long Island University, as well as being a Clinical Instructor at Columbia University, Seton Hall University, Rutgers University, and Dominican College. John is the former Program Director of Barnabas Health’s Sport Medicine Institute and also serves as the Chair of the New Jersey Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
In June 2017, John was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year winner, known as the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs. In addition, John has been recognized as a two-time Smart CEO Future 50 Award Winner, 2016 NJ Biz Healthcare Heroes Education Hero Award Winner, and was featured by 201 Magazine as one of “20 People to Watch in Health” in 2016. In addition, JAG Physical Therapy is honored to be the most awarded physical therapy company in the Tri-State Area, including being recognized as the Physical Therapy Company of the Year by NJBIZ.
Table of Contents
Foreword: Why Write This Book? 9
Chapter 1 Anatomy and Biomechanics of Throwing Athletes: The Science of a Curveball and a Broken Ligament 17
Chapter 2 Understanding the Epidemic of Elbow Baseball Injuries 31
Chapter 3 Why the Rise in Baseball Injuries? 34
Chapter 4 Common Overuse Injuries 45
Chapter 5 Shoulder Injuries 67
Chapter 6 Tommy John Surgery and Other Elbow Injuries 78
Chapter 7 Foot and Ankle Injuries: Causes, Treatments, and Avoidance 89
Chapter 8 Knee Injuries: How They Occur and What We Do to Treat Them 106
Chapter 9 Hip, Thigh, and Spinal Injuries 121
Chapter 10 Concussions: Dangers, Symptoms, and Treatment 140
Chapter 11 Hydration and Nutrition for the Baseball Athlete 150
Chapter 12 Biomechanics and Core Development for the Baseball Player 163
Chapter 13 Strength and Conditioning 176
Chapter 14 Developmental Timelines: What to Expect from Your Athlete 197
Chapter 15 Little Leaguer's Elbow 211
Chapter 16 Capitellar Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD) 214
Chapter 17 Youth Elbow Injuries, Fractures, and Avulsions 218
Chapter 18 Elbow Stress Reaction and Stress Fractures 222
Chapter 19 Making Tommy John Surgery History 225
About the Authors 237