By Frank Alberta

Tips To Keep Young Pitchers Healthy

Too many young baseball pitchers have shoulder and elbow injuries.

The simple truth is these injuries can be prevented: Almost all injuries to the throwing arm are from overuse.

This blog post offers suggestions for parents and coaches to keep young pitchers safe and healthy.

• Limit young pitchers to less than 100 innings per year. A study published in 2011 in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found pitchers aged 9 to 14 who throw over 100 innings per year were 3.5 times more likely to undergo shoulder or elbow surgery.

• Focus on proper throwing mechanics of the fastball and change-up only. Young pitchers can be very effective with mastery of the placement of those pitches alone.

• Don’t allow young kids to throw breaking pitches until they have mastered command of the fastball. Improperly thrown curveballs and sliders put a tremendous amount of stress on the shoulder and elbow of a youngster, more than half of whom are likely to have pain. • Don’t pitch through shoulder or elbow pain. If a child complains of pain, he or she should stop throwing and take a few days off to rest. If the pain does not improve, make an appointment for an evaluation.

• Don’t allow unsupervised pitching practices, Don’t allow more than two outings per week and Don’t allow pitching practice on the day before or after an outing.

Play Pain Free!

Dr. Alberta

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