Athletes’ Life Long Struggle
Proper practice and training leads to a healthier athlete with less chance of injury. It is much more common for an athlete to get injured then someone who is not an athlete. There are different injuries that can happen to an athlete that sometimes may end their careers. A common injury that happens frequently in the sport of baseball would be the tearing of the UCL in the elbow which usually requires surgery. The thing is these are not the only injuries that happen to people. A non-athlete can get injured as well but with a lesser chance. When an injury happens, a main focus is the success rate of the athlete returning back to their prior selves. There are different types of injuries that happen in each sport. Would you be amused if you knew that a surgery before the injury even happens makes the athlete stronger?
Comparing football and baseball injuries, we conclude that they both do happen but they are strangely different type of injuries. In sports, we realize basic things right away. In football, players don’t use their arms like a quarterback and when it comes to baseball, every single player on the team uses their arm every play. Knowing this, one can come up with the idea that baseball is usually filled with arm injuries whereas football usually has more lower half of the body injuries. Either way, both sports have their own injuries that are well known to people all around. Sometimes it is sad to say but also true, that when watching football, we see someone running and make a cut move and all of a sudden fall, we can tell that they may have injured something in their leg. When watching baseball, zeroing into the pitcher throwing, we may see them grab their arm, which most likely means they have hurt it. From this, we know that each sport has their own unique injury.
Examples of injuries in both sports that are very common are a torn UCL in baseball and a torn ACL in football. We find that they are the some of the longest recovery times post operation in all sports. The time that happens after surgery from an injury is called post operation. During this time an athlete rehabs and rests to let the body try to get back to full strength. There are all different time lengths for all different types of injuries, but some people may say that there is a surgery that not only makes athletes come back to their prior self, but come back even stronger and amplify the game that they play. Well this one surgery can happen and sometimes even be performed before the injury even happens. For example, “Tommy John” surgery usually leaves an athlete out of commission for at least 9 months as to if someone in football gets surgery on something as much as a torn meniscus can have them out for as short of a time at 6 weeks. After a person gets injured, their body has to start to go through the healing process to make them strong again. Each persons body are all different and can heal fast or some can take longer then others so nothing is ever set in stone. Different rehab programs will make an athlete come back faster then others but also could cause a long term problem.
An example of this is a meniscus injury. We can get two different types of surgery in which one is called a meniscectomy where they take the damaged part of the meniscus out of our knee and the other is a full meniscus repair in which they connect it back together and let it heal. These can be two very different and time-consuming surgeries. An article from Webmd.com states that “you can return to heavy work or sports anywhere from 4-6 weeks if you have it removed. They also state that if having it repaired, you will be back to these same activities in 3-6 months.” We usually see athletes getting it removed to return more quickly, but there is one problem behind this. Getting the meniscus removed causes bone to bone contact in their knee which can give you arthritis in the future.
There are many leading causes behind sport injuries such as overuse, stops and twists, falls, improper equipment, new or increased activity, fatigue, unilateral movements, and technique and posture. Being athletes, we need to be in the best shape of our lives and push our bodies harder than they should be pushed at some points which is why we get injured. There are ways to prevent injuries but some things we can control. We may even be injured by taking a wrong step.
Injuries do happen to athletes. They are all different in different sports and there are different reasons why they do happen each time. It’s never good when they do happen and it is sad to see but it is a part of being an athlete. There are ways to prevent these from happening but not in all cases. Injuries are all different, it is important to know how to make our bodies in the best shape for all different sports so that these injuries do not happen. The athlete has to make sure that they eat, sleep and train correctly just to make sure they have a healthy body and make sure they have the lowest chance of being injured.
A strong example would be the NFL. Many believe nowadays that the ratings of football are going down because of a new trend called Fantasy Football. This is when fans are basically the General Manager of a team that draft players with other people. During this, they rely on their players to get them points so that they can beat their opponent who also are relying on their players. A bad thing that could happen inside of this app could be if one of their players gets injured or does something to jeopardize their season. Not that this is the biggest thing to worry about but it is just another reason that we do not want to see anything bad happen to the players who train so hard to impress the people of the U.S.
The thing about sports is that they are never set in stone. There are always going to be new challenges that players have to overcome and when they do, it’s a great day for everybody. Along with the good achievements that athletes will be rewarded with, there will always be a chance that some of them get themselves into bad troubles. Some of the bad things that happen to athletes are them doing stupid things outside of the field or as bad as injuries. Besides the injuries, we sometimes see things as athletes doing drugs and getting suspended. We’ve seen athletes go as far as domestic violence and in a case fairly recent, we saw one player was involved in a murder which put him in jail. These are just things that people do because of mistakes or bad mind sets but we do not know what it is from. Some may say they are under so much pressure that they crack and some may say they let the money get to their heads. We try to forgive these athlete for these mistakes but one thing we can not always prevent are injuries. Injuries are something that do not happen to only athletes but also to normal people in their everyday lives. There can be bad injuries that happen to an athlete that can keep them away from their loved game for a while or they can have a small injury that some people can play through. In both cases, there are ways to prevent the injuries and also, some ways to get back quicker during rehab.
We focus into one sport that is baseball and we can see that there is a very bad injury that happens to players all the time. This injury is a tear of the UCL inside the elbow. Usually to fix this, a doctor has to take a ligament from another part of the person and wrap it around the torn ligament inside of the elbow making the elbow stronger then it ever has been. We hear this and we can think that no other surgery would have someone stronger then where they started. The surgery came from a pitcher back in the day by the name of Tommy John who was the first to have this injury so it was based off him.
An article was wrote on the website of ESPN that gave some importance to the surgery itself. While reading the article, i came across three bullets that marked the surgery trying to make people more aware of it. The three things that this article said were:
- Everyone has a successful outcome
- The surgery improves performance. And perhaps the most troubling of all:
- Young players should proactively seek Tommy John surgery to “prevent” a future problem and “enhance” performance
Looking at these three components, we can only think as to why we don’t have the kids get this operation done at a young age. It is never going to happen. Kids arms are precious when they are young and in an article in which a man quoted words of his own to the parents of young pitchers. He says,”I want to encourage the families and parents that are out there that this is not normal to have a surgery at 14 and 15 years old. That they have time, that baseball is not a year-round sport. That they have an opportunity to be athletic and play other sports. Don’t let the institutions that are out there running before them guaranteeing scholarship dollars and signing bonuses that this is the way..” Kids love to play, but the ways sports are going now, they are overdoing it and it’s leading to earlier injuries in the arm.
To conclude this, we need to know that playing sports is not something that every kid gets to do. Some kids would love to play but just might not have the athletic ability or maybe something is wrong with them physically. We need to know that at young ages, it’s more about having fun and learning to understand and get a better feel, not push the athlete over the top. Kids need to learn how to love the game, not hate it because they are being pushed to hard. Yes as they get older, if they still have what it takes, they will be pushed more and injuries become more common but there are ways we can stay away from injuries happening so early.
We want to stay away from these injuries when we are younger because it is never good moving forward that a child was injured young. When kids are young, they need to be enjoying everything and as they grow older, they will start to realize what competition is and start to endure it. For the youth time that they have, we don’t want them near injury because it is more so likely that down the road they will be accompanied by one. In this day and age, being healthy for their entire career is one of the hardest things to do. Think about the chances that an athlete has to be healthy for as long as they play. It does not seem very likely even if doing everything they can in their power to keep their bodies healthy and limber.
As athletes move on with their careers, we realize that there are many injuries that they can come by. Some can so much as end an athlete’s career while some have a smaller recovery time. Knowing there are some that we can prevent but some that will just happen out of no where. Obviously seeing an athlete get injured is terrible because it is what they live for and put their bodies out there day in and day out. Certain injuries are more popular in different sports. Finding that there are many processes that we can choose to go through to get better in each case. Many procedures such as surgery, physical therapy, or rest or icing. All injuries differ in their own ways. If we zero in to a certain sport like baseball, we’ll find one of the hardest injuries and something that happens to a lot of pitchers. The injury is called Tommy John, or a UCL tear which is the ligament inside the elbow in which holds the arm together from the inside. Many will strive to see the surgery be performed before the injury comes around. A lot of people think that the name Tommy John came from a doctor that performed the first surgery and not that it came from a pitcher in which had the injury first. An article from fox sports points out a few good things inside. They say “a lot of young players have become more reckless because they figure they can always get Tommy John surgery, but also fifteen percent of people lack the tendon that’s most commonly used to repair the damaged ligament.” This means that kids are pitching their arms out when they are young without the fear of getting hurt because they think that they can just get the surgery but in some cases, they may not even have the ligament needed to perform the surgery. Kids can not go out there thinking that it is ok to get hurt because they can just have it it fixed. People don’t understand that we should never want to fix what is not broken and especially not on the human body.
Why would someone want to be operated on if they do not have an injury? Nothing says that the injury is going to happen, but the way youth baseball is going, we can guess that it is more common. Some studies show that getting the surgery brings pitchers back stronger then they ever were because the support in the elbow is so strong that it is basically adding another spring into the elbow which helps throw harder. Many myths that people are told and believe which are stated in an article by Mike Reinold and they come in the following,”Everyone Returns From Tommy John Surgery, There are No Complications with Tommy John Surgery, Recovery From Tommy John Surgery is Quick and Easy, Velocity Improves After Tommy John Surgery, and All Tommy John Rehabilitation is the Same.” These 5 myths are common reasons why everyone thinks that it is ok to get hurt and get this surgery. In some cases, people do say that the surgery should be performed before an injury is occurred. Reasons why this is not a good idea include the following:
Surgery is always something to be afraid of because no one wants to be knocked out and cut open to fix something that is not necessary. Surgery is not always safe, there are times when people get infections, sometimes nerve injuries can happen, and sometimes Chronic Regional Pain System. This is something that usually happens to a limb after an injury is occurred where pain is always inflected. That is a first reason why we should not be having the surgery done if there is no reason to. Number two, if an athlete is on their way and doing great just the way they are, why would we change that? There is a saying that goes by, “Don’t fix what’s not broken.” No reason to put athletes in danger of these problems for no reason.
Like said, injuries to athletes are always terrible to hear and we never want to see that happen to anyone. If we bring up this argument on whether or not we should put pitchers through the surgery before they have the chance to get injured. People will more or likely respond with no. It just doesn’t make sense. Yes the recovery rate is very high and it makes pitchers strong but we should shouldn’t change what is already working. In a sense, we can think it is cheating. Of course if a pitcher gets hurt who was doing great then we will have to get the operation done so they can come back to their old selfs or maybe even stronger.
Athletes go through so much in their lives that when a career ending event happens, it’s almost as if their whole world and life has ended. Athletes live for what they do and they love every second of it. A quote from a great motivation video for all athletes states one thing in which is, ” when you want to be succeed as much as you want to breathe, thats when you’ll be successful.” This goes to show that we have to have a passion for something as bad as we want to stay alive so that day in and day out, we work as hard as we possibly can to reach the top and say we did it at the end of the day. It goes to show that we all need to respect the athletes between their highs and lows because no one besides them really knows how hard it really is.
Walden, Mike. “Baseball Injuries.” Baseball Injuries. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
Ratini, Melinda. “Tommy John Surgery (UCL Reconstruction) and Recovery.” WebMD. WebMD, 11 Feb. 2014. Web. 30 Oct. 2016. http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/tommy-john-surgery-ucl-reconstruction#1
@michaelgleibermd. “Common NFL Injuries & Unrealistic Recovery Expectations – Michael A. Gleiber, MD.” Michael A. Gleiber, MD. N.p., 10 Feb. 2015. Web. 30 Oct. 2016. https://michaelgleibermd.com/news/common-nfl-injuries-unrealistic-recovery-expectations/
Mair, Kathy. “Top Ten Causes of Sport Injuries.” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 07 Feb. 2014. Web. 30 Oct. 2016. http://www.livestrong.com/article/526375-top-ten-causes-of-sport-injuries/
By the Time a Pitcher Arrives in Professional Baseball, the Wear and Tear on His Elbow Might Be Significantly Greater than It Once Was, Making Him More at Risk for Tommy John Surgery Early in His Career — and Consequently, More at Risk of Needing a Revis. “What We’ve Missed about Tommy John Surgery.” ESPN.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2016. http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/12648769/what-missed-tommy-john-surgery
“John Smoltz Warns Young Players about Tommy John Surgery in Hall of Fame Acceptance Speech.” USA Today. Gannett, n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2016. http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/07/john-smoltz-warns-young-players-about-tommy-john-surgery-in-hall-of-fame-acceptance-speech
Miller, Sam. “Why Pitchers Will Always Have Tommy John Surgery.” ESPN.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2016. http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/12842678/why-tommy-john-surgeries-cease-soon
“What Can Go Wrong.” In Surgery with Dr. Chris Chiodo. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2016. http://www.drchiodo.com/Pages/surgery/04_cangowrong.php
Smiley, Brett. “12 Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Tommy John Surgery.” FOX Sports. N.p., 25 June 2014. Web. 06 Dec. 2016. http://www.foxsports.com/buzzer/story/tommy-john-surgery-facts-baseball-062514
https://www.facebook.com/mikereinold.pt. “5 Myths of Tommy John Surgery – Mike Reinold.” Mike Reinold. N.p., 26 Jan. 2014. Web. 06 Dec. 2016. http://www.mikereinold.com/5-myths-tommy-john-surgery/