5 Common Baseball Injuries

Neil Walker of the Pittsburgh Pirates grimaces in pain after injuring his hand attempting to turn a double play against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 15, 2012, at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pa. See more Sports Pictures.
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You probably don't think of baseball as a dangerous sport. It's not like football, where players collide at full speed in the middle of the field, or hockey, where players swing sticks at the puck and sometimes at each other. And it's nowhere near as dangerous as boxing, where the object is to punch somebody else in the face before they can punch you. Compared to these sports, baseball seems about as dangerous stamp collecting.

But you can get seriously hurt playing baseball. Really. And most of the time it's yourself you hurt, not somebody else. With all those fast moves and straining muscles, eventually a ligament or a tendon can get torn or a muscle can get pulled. This may not sound like much compared to getting punched in the face, but when it happens it hurts and can keep a player out of the game for days or weeks at a time. And sometimes even worse things can happen.

Just about any damage that can take place to the human body can happen in baseball, from broken bones to ruptured kidneys, but the most common injuries occur over time and are often the result of repetitive stress. Just as typists know that spending too many hours drumming fingers on a keyboard can cause numbness in the wrist (called carpal tunnel syndrome), baseball pitchers know that pitching enough fastballs can cause serious problems in the shoulder. And runners who turn too quickly can do serious damage to their knees. Let's look at some of the most common injuries that occur in both professional and amateur baseball.