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Little League Elbow
(Elbow, Little League; Medial Apophysitis; Overuse Elbow Injury Related to Throwing)
|The Elbow Joint|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Throwing too hard and too often
- Increasing the number of pitches per week too quickly
- Throwing too many curves or sliders at a young age
- Changing to a league where the pitcher's mound is farther away from home plate or the mound is elevated
- Pain around the bony knob on the inner side of the elbow
- Swelling (possibly)
- Pain when throwing overhand
- Pain with gripping or carrying heavy objects (sometimes)
- Rest—Do not pitch or do activities that cause elbow pain. Do not play sports until the pain is gone.
- Cold—Regular use of an ice pack to reduce swelling and pain.
- Medication—Medications to reduce swelling and pain. Aspirin is not recommended for children with a current or recent viral infection. Check with the doctor before giving your child aspirin.
- Physical therapy—After the pain is gone, your child may be referred to physical therapy for strengthening exercises.
- Gradual return to pitching—Begin with throwing motions. Gradually progress to pitching as recommended by your doctor or physical therapist.
- Surgery—This may be needed to reattach the ligament and bony fragment. This is rarely needed.
- Warm up before pitching with light aerobic exercise , such as jogging.
- Stretch your muscles slowly and gently before pitching.
- Follow the pitching rules of your baseball league. Do not play in 2 or more leagues at the same time.
- Keep track of your child’s pitch count and the number of innings pitched. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting pitches to 200 per week or 90 per game.
- Learn and practice good pitching techniques.
- Do not throw curve balls and sliders until high school. This is when the growth plate in your elbow is fused with the bone.
- Reviewer: Teresa Briedwell, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
- Review Date: 12/2014
- Update Date: 12/20/2014