A non-surgical method can increase baseball players' chances of getting back to the same level of fitness as before, says new research.

Baseball players who suffer from painful shoulder pain often cannot return to play. The reason being that although the injury, called a SLAP tear, can be treated via surgery, it doesn't allow players to their past performance levels.

Researchers say that a non-surgical method can bring baseball players back to the game.

According to American Academy of Orthpaedic Surgeons, SLAP stands for Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior. A SLAP tear is an injury to the labrum of the shoulder which is the ring of cartilage that surrounds the socket of the shoulder joint. SLAP tears are common injuries suffered by tennis players and military personnel.

The study involved approximately 119 professional baseball players who had persistent shoulder pain. Of these, 68 players had confirmed reports of having a SLAP tear and had failed an initial treatment. Researchers treated these patients for the injury according to an algorithm focused on correcting the scapular dyskinesia and posterior capsular tightness, a new release said.

45 of the 68 baseball players were pitchers. Researchers found that more position players returned to play after the treatment than pitchers

“Our research showed that nonsurgical treatment of SLAP tears was more often successful than surgery and in position players more frequently than for pitchers. We need more research to determine why the nonsurgical treatment was more beneficial to one population than the other, but our findings did illustrate that nonsurgical treatment should be preferred," said David Lintner, MD, lead researcher from Methodist Center for Sports Medicine in Houston, Texas, in a news release.

The SLAP repair procedure has about 33 percent to 66 percent success rate in getting players back on the field.

“Returning to the same level of competition as before the injury, is almost always difficult for an athlete, and surgery is often thought of as the best avenue. With additional research, orthopaedists are finding different routes to treat some of the most common throwing injuries,” said Lintner, in a news release.

The study was presented at American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.