What Causes Wrist Pain When Playing Baseball?

Batter up
Batter ready to swing at baseball (Image: Peter Kim/iStock/Getty Images)

Wrist pain is among the most common sports related injuries. In baseball, the wrists are constantly torqued in all different directions, sometimes unnaturally. The severity of the injury that causes your wrist pain can vary significantly. Before you attempt any form of advanced home treatment, make an appointment to see your primary care physician for a thorough inspection and proper diagnosis.

Causes

Wrist pain from baseball can come from any number of movements. Mild pain often comes from improperly following through when swinging a bat. This usually happens when the momentum of the bat on the back end of a swing torques your wrist in an unnatural position. Another baseball movement that can cause wrist pain is sliding into a base and jamming your wrist on the bag itself. This movement, along with any other impact movement using your hand as a brace to stop movement, typically results in more serious wrist injuries.

Types

Wrist pain from swinging a bat can range from a mild level one sprain that can be taped up or wrapped with a bandage and played through with minimal pain, to something as serious as a severe sprain in which multiple tendons have ruptured. Pain stemming from an impact movement can be as mild as a bruise, or as severe as multiple broken bones that require a cast and several months of rehabilitation.

Treatment

Wrist pain in baseball generally is accompanied by swelling and lack of mobility. Immediately upon feeling the pain in your wrist, you should stop whatever you're doing and rest the joint. Place a bag of ice onto the affected area with a cloth barrier between your skin and the ice, and keep it there for 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat this every two to three hours to reduce swelling. Wrap the wrist with a cloth or elastic bandage for 48 hours and elevate it to a height above your heart.

Prevention

Unlike most other sports, wrapping or taping a wrist for support is not an option in baseball, as you'll require the full range of motion in your wrist to play at even the most basic level. You can however, practice your swing follow through at all angles, swinging at high, middle, and low pitches, all while releasing the bat post-swing with minimal strain on your wrist. Headfirst slides are always optional and are rarely recommended; thus, switching to feet-first slides is the best preventative measure you can take against impact injuries.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2018 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.