Baseball season is right around the corner, and with that comes the many practices through the week, games, and weekend tournaments. What does all that time on the field add up to? Lots, and lots, of throws. Youth baseball organizations have begun to really monitor the amount of pitches young players are allowed during games. According to the campaign by Sports Trauma Overuse Prevention (STOP) Sports Injuries, around 20% of children 8-12 years old will have arm pain of some type during their baseball season. That number goes up to 45% for children 13-14 years old. There is a great handout from the STOP Sports Injuries organization about preventing baseball injuries, see it here http://www.stopsportsinjuries.org/files/pdf/aossm_baseball.pdf. STOP has an entire section on their website dedicated to baseball as well – http://www.stopsportsinjuries.org/baseball-injury-prevention.aspx. Mentioned in both of these links are guidelines for pitching and rest-times. The Little League Baseball Association has a strict guideline to pitch counts and rest days – http://www.littleleague.org/assets/forms_pubs/media/pitchingregulationchanges_bb_11-13-09.pdf.
Pitchers may have the highest incidence of arm injuries, but are not the only ones susceptible—catchers are throwing just as many balls back to the pitcher, and other fielders can get hurt too. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons has a webpage with good information about baseball injury prevention for all players, including pitchers – http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00185.
If a child experiences any arm pain, a thorough evaluation should be conducted. This evaluation can be done by us at Mathis PT, just call 785-539-9669, and set up an appointment with any one of our therapists. Our qualified staff has experience playing and coaching baseball up to the collegiate level.
Mathis Physical Therapy