With Spring Training in full swing throughout Major League Baseball, people are getting excited about the upcoming season. Children and teens who play the game in youth leagues are even more amped up. If you have a young pitcher at home who is champing at the bit to hit the diamond, you want to make sure he doesn’t overdo it and risk developing serious issues down the road.
Arm problems such as elbow tendonitis are common among young pitchers, so you need to keep a close eye on any pain your child may be experiencing.
One of the most common injuries among Little League pitchers is known as “Little League elbow,” or medial epicondyle apophysitis. This injury occurs due to overuse of the growth plates that are located on the inside of the elbow.
Because these growth plates (known formally as apophyses) are not as strong as the muscles that attach to them, stress placed on the plates can result in inflammation, pain and swelling. The child should not be allowed to throw if he is experiencing this problem, because continued throwing could cause the growth plate to separate from the bone.
Typically, this injury also results in pain while batting. The child will probably experience pain while performing everyday activities as well. You may see swelling and a reduction in range of motion. If you notice any of this, have your child checked by a specialist as soon as possible.
As a young pitcher moves into his teens and his growth plate closes, he becomes more susceptible to developing elbow tendonitis. Typically, the condition can be treated with rehab and rest. Although it can result in a great deal of pain and tenderness on the outer portion of the joint, it is usually not a very serious problem.
Medi-Dyne offers the Cho-Pat® Elbow Support to combat elbow tendonitis by helping heal the problem through compression and warmth of the joint. It can be used either before, during or after a throwing session.
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