Catching & Knee Health - Question/Need Advice

  1. #1

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    Catching & Knee Health - Question/Need Advice

    How much is too much for a kid to be catching? Not opinions, just maybe if someone could provide some links/credentials that indicate you really know what you are talking about and give it by age level. Kid doing it is a three sport-type kid, and plays each at a high level.

    Both me and my brother played catcher at some points growing up. I played for about a year and a half, him for Junior and Little League, as well as High School. I ran cross country in that same year, played fall ball, and played summer ball the following summer. Brother played football and baseball. Both of us played a lot of pick-up basketball, etc.

    Now had someone asking me about knee health because of their own kids. Honestly, both my brother and I have knee problems. He's already been under the knife, and I've got a cyst on the back of a kneecap that's been dislocated three times. We have knee problems, and maybe it's genetic, maybe not, but I can't help but think that catching didn't hurt (especially considering NONE of my knee problems arose until after I'd begun). Honestly, I don't really know tons of people who played catcher for a fair amount of time that DON'T have knee problems.

    Since I've been asked, I wanted to see if someone reputable could definitively answer "how much is too much", and whether or not there's a correlation between catching and knee injuries.

    Any help/advice would be appreciated, because I want to answer the person's question, and thank you in advance.
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    I caught my entire life. Started at age 8, 4 years of high school+summer ball, 3 years of college, 3 years of semi pro ball. Caught probably 50+ games from age 14 through 26 or 27 + hundreds or even thousands of practices. Also when my son started playing, I'd catch bullpen sessions for his team, squatting behind the plate for an hour or so a few days a week. I did that for another 7 or 8 years. Never had any problems with my knees, and I could probably catch bullpen sessions easily now. I've been lucky, no major injuries. I also never really did anything special. Granted I don't have the wear and tear or miles that a major league catcher would have, but I've probably got more miles than most. I think some of it is luck, and some genetics. That's not to say I won't have trouble down the road, but at age 45, my knees are just fine. I do however, have two arthritic big toes, which cause me pain every day, which I've been told by my podiatrist could be a result of catching.

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    During adolescent years, some boys develop Osgood-Schlatter disease in their knees. My son, who is 14, has had bouts with this and catches. You can google it for more info. Basically, it is supposed to go away after reaching maturity. He has dealt with this knot on his right kneecap and it has bothered him significantly from time to time when playing football (RB), baseball (OF and C) and wrestling. About a year ago, the doctor prescribed physical therapy to help stretch several surrounding muscles and the knee itself. This helped him immensely and he hasn't had too many problems since. He has caught a few games this season and hasn't experienced pain. Excersises between events should help. Maybe you can google Osgood Schlatter exercises to help, even though you may not have the disease itself. It may help or be beneficial for preventative maintenance.

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    Thanks for the responses everyone. Will definitely consider what had been said and look at the articles .

  6. #6

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    Not just knees in kids should be considered. Also arms. Pitchers have pitch counts, so should catchers, imo. Especially those who pitch & catch

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    Dang rjs4470 my knees started aching just reading your post!

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