Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Oblique Muscle Strains
Once again this season baseball players have been affected by oblique muscle strains. Most recently it impacted the St. Louis Cardinals when their All Star infielder Matt Carpenter sustained the injury missing a month of games including the All Star Game. Why are these such significant injuries for some sports and playing positions while you never hear about them in other sports?
The oblique muscles reside on both sides of the abdomen and chest running from the pelvis to the chest and ribs in the front and chest and spine in the back. There are 2 muscle groups on each side--- the internal and external obliques. Rather than running straight vertically or horizontally they run “obliquely” across the body and thus their name is derived.
These muscles are critical for rotational activities and that is why they are more impactful for certain sports. While challenging for any athlete an oblique muscle strain is the worst for those athletes that repetitively rotate. Thus baseball pitchers and hitters are highly affected. Hockey players are also bothered by it while shooting especially during slap shots.
Treatment is similar to other muscle strains and involves conservative management with ice, NSAIDs and rehabilitation including stretching and strengthening. Nothing seems to shorten