Throwing a baseball is one of the fastest and most violent maneuvers that any joint in the body is subjected to. The violent and rapid motion places numerous structures in the shoulder at risk for injury,” cautions Dr. Shane Seroyer, sports medicine fellow at Rush and lead author of a report on pitching injuries published in the latest issue of the journal Sports Health.
“Attention to throwing mechanics and appropriate stretching, strength and conditioning programs may reduce the risk of injury in this highly demanding activity,” Seroyer and colleagues note in their report.
Another way to cut the risk of injury to pitchers, especially young pitchers, is to limit the number and types of pitches they throw.
The spring parade of pitching injuries is starting. Last week I saw many young kids with early signs of shoulder and elbow issues due to pitching. They all shared one thing in common. All were throwing more that 100 pitches a week, and they were all under 15 years of age.
One of the fathers wanted a note so his son’s coach could allow him to throw 200 pitches/week !!!
One of the youngsters had a potentially devastating injury involving his elbow. The good news was it is in a very early stage and would likely heal without surgery, cast ,etc. One of the parents took that to mean that it couldn’t be that severe of a problem then and wanted a note so their son could return to pitching!!
Parents… heed the warnings… every year *we* see many, many pitching related injuries lead to permanent career ending damage to the elbow— and on occasion, the shoulder too.
KEEP TRACK OF YOUR CHILD’S PITCH COUNT ! Keep it under 75 pitches/week…. and keep the options of a career in baseball open!