Could Changing Your Diet Prevent Tommy John Surgery?

Pitching a baseball is one of the most violent, aggressive moves in sports. Today’s pitchers are throwing harder than ever, from High School to the Professionals.  Combine the hard throwing and the frequency of throwing, you get potential for injury, in particular Tommy John surgery.

Tommy John surgery is: a surgical procedure in which a healthy tendon extracted from an arm (or sometimes a leg) is used to replace an arm’s torn ligament. The healthy tendon is threaded through holes drilled into the bone above and below the elbow. The ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) is the major stabilizer of the elbow. UCL injury is an overuse injury, most often caused by the repetitive motion of throwing. Jun 20, 2018

Tommy John was a MLB baseball pitcher for 26 years, won nearly 300 games. But is most famous for, you guessed it Tommy John surgery. He was the first to have this elbow surgery, so he was honored with the name that haunts pitchers today.   Tommy is more famous for the surgery than his baseball career and won nearly 300 games!

Our bodies have amazing preventive and healing potential, but that will come down to what you decide to put in your body daily and how you treat it externally.  So what should a Pitcher’s diet consist of? Would a plant-based diet be best? Better than Keto or Paleo?

The answer is yes to a plant-based diet.   The biggest benefits would be the anti-inflammatory benefits and the quick recovery time from the last time they pitched. Getting ready for their next bullpen or next appearance in game, is the goal for Pitchers. The sooner that inflammation goes down the quicker the recovery and less chance for throwing with a tired arm, which is the prelude to the dreaded Tommy John, formally known as the “dead arm”

So reducing inflammation is the key here, the less inflammation, the quicker a pitcher can recover, thus lessening the wear on the UCL.

A plant-base diet  will help prevent inflammation from kicking in unnecessarily. Shifting towards a more vegan or plant-based diet can help reduce inflammation, this is proven. It is the biggest difference from a meat and dairy diet.  A meat and dairy diet is very acidic and that will promote inflammation, which leads to a slower recovery than a plant-based diet.  I know this is very repetitive, but the slower the recovery, means the more your pitching with a tired arm.

Just like all other sports, your best ability is availability. So if you can recover quickly and stay healthy, you’re staying ahead of the competition and most importantly staying healthy and being available.

So the question is, will a plant-base diet prevent a pitcher from having Tommy John surgery?  That’s really going to depend on the individual.  How much damage has already been done, is a key factor.  This is a very aggressive movement in sports, so those tendons could pop at any moment, that’s the risk you take when you’re a Pitcher.  But if you’re looking for a diet that is going to help reduce inflammation and speed up recovery time, which are key contributors to a Pitchers health, than a plant-based diet is the best choice for you.



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