Famed MLB Pitcher Tommy John Joins Campaign to Prevent Youth Sports Injuries

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The STOP Sports Injuries campaign (http://www.STOPSportsInjuries.org) is pleased to announce that famed, Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher, Tommy John, has joined in the fight to prevent youth sports injuries.

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As the namesake for one of the most popular, elbow surgeries in the country, I am joining with the STOP Sports Injuries campaign to highlight that playing all year long is not going to make you a better player and may cause long-term injuries.

The STOP Sports Injuries campaign (http://www.STOPSportsInjuries.org) is pleased to announce that famed, Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher, Tommy John, has joined in the fight to prevent youth sports injuries.

"As the namesake for one of the most popular, elbow surgeries in the country, I am joining with the STOP Sports Injuries campaign to highlight that playing all year long is not going to make you a better player and may cause long-term injuries,” said John. “I played basketball and baseball when I was growing up which I know helped me to develop my skills and muscles both on and off the field and on many different levels.”

The STOP Sports Injuries campaign—launched in the spring of 2010 by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM), and a host of other professional medical organizations — aims to arm the public with accurate information and tools to prevent, recognize and treat the long-term consequences of sports overuse and trauma injuries in children.

Overuse injuries for youth baseball pitchers are particularly on the rise according to a 10-year study published in the February 2011 issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine. The study illustrated a direct link between innings pitched in youth and adolescent baseball and serious injury. It highlighted the need for parents and coaches to monitor the amount of pitching for the long-term success and health of the young athletes.

“Young kids don’t need to be throwing a 100 pitches in a game and should adhere to the pitch counts that have been established by Little League Baseball. Very few kids make it to the college level to play baseball and even fewer make it to the big leagues. Playing safely and listening to your body, can make a world of difference in how far you’ll go, no matter the sport,” said John.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, every year, more than 3.5 million kids aged 14 and younger are treated for sports injuries. Yet the American College of Sports Medicine estimates more than half of all youth sports injuries are preventable.

“The growing support of more than 400 different organizations, supports our mission and belief that keeping kids safe from athletic overuse and trauma injuries will keep them playing for years to come,” said James Andrews, MD, campaign co-chair and former President of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.

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The STOP Sports Injuries campaign was initiated by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) and includes a comprehensive public outreach program focused on the importance of sports safety—specifically relating to overuse and trauma injuries. The initiative not only raises awareness and provides education on injury reduction, but also highlights how playing safe and smart can enhance and extend a child’s athletic career, improve teamwork, reduce obesity rates and create a lifelong love of exercise and healthy activity. The campaign’s message underscores the problems of youth overuse and trauma injuries and emphasizes the expertise of our coalition of experts, including the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Athletic Trainers’ Association, National Strength and Conditioning Association, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine. Sports Physical Therapy Section, Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America and SAFE Kids USA. For more details, visit http://www.STOPSportsInjuries.org.

Contact:
Lisa Weisenberger
lisa(at)aossm(dot)org
847-292-4900

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