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Pitching and Arm Injuries

pitching and arm injuries

It’s that time of year again and everybody is headed outside to play!

Seeing our kids excel at sports and stay active is exciting, but the same time we want to avoid injuries to our kids. Children’s bodies, while often very resilient, are prone to injury with strenuous sports. With a bit of knowledge and care, we can prevent life-long pain into adulthood.

So how can we protect against overuse injuries?

Here are a few suggestions for pitching and throwing:

Overuse injuries—especially those related to the elbow ligament (UCL) and shoulder—are preventable. Some tips to keep you in the game throughout your life include:

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  • Warm up properly by stretching, running, and easy, gradual throwing
  • Rotate playing other positions besides pitcher
  • Concentrate on age-appropriate pitching
  • Adhere to pitch count guidelines, such as those established by Little League Baseball  (See tables below)
  • Avoid pitching on multiple teams with overlapping seasons
  • Don’t pitch with elbow or shoulder pain, if the pain persists, see a doctor
  • Don’t pitch on consecutive days
  • Don’t play year-round
  • Never use a radar gun
  • Communicate regularly about how your arm is feeling and if there is pain
  • Develop skills that are age appropriate
  • Emphasize control, accuracy, and good mechanics
  • Master the fastball first and the change-up second, before considering breaking pitches
  • Speak with a sports medicine professional or athletic trainer if you have any concerns about baseball injuries or baseball injury prevention strategies

Contact us today for a customized evaluation of your child’s sport and spine potential

Maximum Pitch Counts

Age Pitches/Game
7-8 50
9-10 75
11-12 85
13-16 95
17-18 105

Source: Little League Baseball

Rest Periods Required

Ages 14 and under Ages 15–18 Required # ofRest Pitches
66+ 76+ 4 calendar days
51–65 61–75 3 calendar days
36–50 46–60 2 calendar days
21–35 31–45 1 calendar day
1-20 1–30 None

Source: Little League Baseball

Age Recommended for Various Pitches

Pitch Age
Fastball 8±2
Slider 16±2
Change-up 10±3
Forkball 16±2
Curveball 14±2
Knuckleball 15±3
Screwball 17±2

Source: From work by James R. Andrews, MD, and Glenn S. Fleisig, PhD

At Warren Chiropractic, we help many types of injuries, including sports related injuries. Our goal is to assess the problem accurately and develop a customized strengthening and stretching program to get your child safely performing at their best.

Call us today by clicking here!

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