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.
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org
Ortho Info— American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.org
About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Committee on Sports Medicine and Fitness. American Academy of Pediatrics: Risk of injury from baseball and softball in children. Pediatrics. 2001;107(4):782-784.
Overuse elbow injury related to throwing. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 6, 2014. Accessed December 16, 2014.
Throwing injuries in the elbow in children. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00328. Updated April 2011. Accessed December 16, 2014.
Why counting pitches counts. The National Athletic Trainers' Association website. Available at: http://www.nata.org/nata-news-blog/why-counting-pitches-counts. Accessed December 16, 2014.
- Reviewer: Teresa Briedwell, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
- Review Date: 12/2014 -
- Update Date: 12/20/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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