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Aetiology and Prevention
+ David H. Janda, + Donald E. Wild and * Robert N.
+ Institute for Preventative Sports Medicine, and Orthopedic
Surgery Associates, PC, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA * Pediatric Orthopedic Section,
Department of Surgery, University of Michigan Hospitals, and Institute for
Preventative Sports Medicine, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Over 40 million individuals nationally participate in
organized softball leagues, playing an estimated 23 million games per year in
the United States It has also been estimated that softball causes more injuries
leading to emergency room visits in the United States than any other sport.
Between 1983 and 1989, over 2 6 million injuries were documented through
selected emergency rooms throughout the United States In addition, the potential
costs of these injuries can be staggering, therefore, prevention is of utmost
importance. Prior to implementation of any preventative measures, the aetiology
and distribution of injuries must be ascertained. Softball-related injuries can
be grouped into 3 categories: (a) sliding-related injuries - the most common
injury scenario; (b) collision-related injuries; and (c) falls sustained by the
Various preventative approaches have been utilised to reduce the incidence of
these recreational sports injuries and the associated health care costs. In
regard to sliding related injuries, breakaway bases have been utilised and have
been found to reduce sliding related injuries by approximately 98%. In reference
to collision injuries, deformable walls and padded back stops and field
maintenance have been found to prevent the majority of injuries secondary to
collisions and falls. In addition, better coaching techniques as well as
stretching and conditioning programmes have a11 been found to benefit players in
the prevention of their injuries As physicians, trainers and individuals
involved with sporting activities, it is imperative that we turn and focus our
attention on prevention The cornerstone to diminished injuries and subsequent
prevention of an injury is a safer environment for the recreational softball
player to participate in.
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Copyright © 2001 The Institute for Preventative Sports Medicine. All rights reserved.