Little League Elbow
"Little league elbow" is a throwing injury to the elbow commonly found among pre-teen and teens who play baseball or softball competitively. Injury occurs when the repetitive throwing creates an overly strong pull on elbow tendons and ligaments. This can tear a ligament and tendon away from the bone. The elbow can also become compressed, causing bones to rub together. Young athletes are particularly prone to this type of injury because their bones are immature. A child should stop throwing at the first sign of elbow pain, restricted range of motion, or locking of the elbow joint. Young pitchers are also advised against trying to throw a curve ball. The additional twisting motion used to make a pitch break is very hard on the immature elbow.
The age groups most affected are pre-high school players, anywhere from 10 to 15 years old, with peak incidence in 12 to 14-year-old players. Treatment and recovery ranges from six weeks to three months.
- Elbow is sore to the touch and may swell
- Sudden onset of pain with feeling that something is giving way in elbow
- Pain may be linked with catching, throwing overhand, or elbow lock.
How Chiropractic Therapy Can Help
Chiropractic care works on relieving pain and correcting complications associated with elbow strain. Chiropractic therapy includes adjustments and simple manipulation, physical therapy, and behavioral recommendations such as rest, icing, and exercises. Dr. Forster recommends that pre-teens and teens always warm up with light aerobic exercise, stretching muscles slowly and gently before pitching, and limit pitching to:
- 4-10 innings per week
- 80-100 pitches per game
- 30-40 pitches per practice
In addition, pre-teens and teens should learn and practice the mechanics of good pitching technique and avoiding curve balls and sliders until high school.
In addition, Dr. Forster draws on acupuncture and other therapies to tailor treatment for each patient.
Call (813) 788-3232 today for a complimentary consultation.