Poor Delmon Young.
He’s a hot player for the Minnesota Twins and he’s headed to the disabled list with a strained left oblique. We’ve handled how to deal with strained obliques before, but this time I thought it was important to discuss when do you know you’ve hurt your oblique enough to shut down. Wow, that was a long sentence.
Anyway, one of the things that stuck out to me in the news report was the quote from the manager, Ron Gardenhire. Awesome name aside, this is what he said:
He tried to swing today but never could get loose. He said it was too cold and he never could feel right or loose. There was soreness, so I told him I had to put him on the DL and he said it was the right thing.
What Delmon tried to do is what most of do if we feel a twinge in the obliques … play through it.
The following points should help you decided whether you need to shut down due to an oblique injury.
What is the oblique muscle? It is a set of muscles running down the side of your body attaching your abdomen to your ribs. It’s job is to hold you together and act somewhat as support for your spine. Baseball players use it for throwing and hitting. Look at the pic up there and you see during Delmon’s swing he twists. Your obliques let you do this.
What does a slight sprain of the oblique feel like? It’s going to be sore when you rotate your torso or twist. Sore doesn’t equal pain, though. Most sprains of this type occur naturally through training and I’ve found they occur most when you are working your abs with a medicine ball twisting your torso. You don’t have to shut it down. Some ibuprofen and rest should take care of it.
What does a full sprain of the oblique feel like? We’re entering pain territory. Movement of the torso, stretching and even grabbing will cause you to feel pain. The pain will be sudden and sharp and will go away when you stop the activity. Sometimes the movement helps and the pain goes away. You can tell Delmon wanted that in the worst way when he said he couldn’t get lose. This is the one you need to shut down for.
Why do I need to shut down training or playing for a sprained oblique? Recovery. Every day that passes and you don’t rest means you’re delaying the healing. You will soon run into the diminishing returns of the injury, which means your level of play will decrease over time. So, you’ve now compounded the problem by not playing well and forcing your body a longer period to heal.
How long does it take to recover from a sprained oblique? Depending on the severity and type of sport, a week of more.